Most Honorable One: The Story of Jamaloddin Khanjani

May 14 marks 7 years in prison for the 7 Baha’i leaders in Iran. In honor of these prisoners of conscience, a campaign #7Bahais7years is telling their stories. You can read profiles of the seven leaders here. And you can read the full Twitter story of Jamaloddin Khanjani below…

Jamaloddin and Ashraf - recent outdoors 2

What is written on the walls of the heart of a prisoner of conscience? Let’s imagine…

My name is Jamaloddin Khanjani and I’ve been in jail 7 years for being a Baha’i.

I could tell you many tales of these endless, imprisoned days and nights, but one memory haunts me…

Many young people wonder about true love. Well, I can tell you: it’s real. My wife, Ashraf, was my heart’s best friend.

We had hoped to spend our old age together, every day full of happy chaos, secret jokes, delicious food, and grandbabies…

We had lost everything during the Revolution, but we still had each other, and that was more than everything to us.

Ashraf had such strength. She never wavered, even when I was arrested & imprisoned time after time…

Then, in 2008, I was given a life sentence: 20 years of behind bars, when I was already in my seventies! My wife gave me courage…

Ashraf and I could rarely see each other, or even speak, but our hearts spoke across the prison walls…

Then, my wife’s health declined rapidly. We were oxygen to each other. Without contact, both of us wilted, like plants without air.

Ashraf, my wife, died while I was in prison. The guards refused my request to attend her funeral.

My health is bad, but I live on for Ashraf’s sake. Her name means “most honorable one.” May our love bring honor to my last days…

This story is a work of fiction, inspired by family memories of Jamaloddin Khanjani.

4 thoughts on “Most Honorable One: The Story of Jamaloddin Khanjani

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