[PROVISIONAL TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]
[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets.]
[Personal information has been redacted.]
[The excerpt below is from the section of the article that pertains to the Baha’i Faith]
[Adapted from website:] Shab-e Roshan Weblog
[Date:] 19 Dey 1391 [8 January 2013]
Letter [written by] Vahid Tizfahm from Rajaei-Shahr Prison
I was a nine-year-old child when my father was arrested and imprisoned in Urmia, in the month of Mehr 1360 [October 1981] for [his beliefs]. I remember that morning when the officers came to our house; It was a strange day! It was the last day I had my father by my side.
My mother and my little brother Houshmand were traveling that day. My two sisters and I and my two aunts and my father were at home. That morning, before they raided our house, they had gone to Mr. Jalal Payravi’s house. His wife called our house and announced the arrival of the officers. But my father, with complete composure, said that he would not run away, would not go anywhere and would stay with us―whatever is destined will happen.
An hour later, the doorbell rang, the security officers arrived, and after searching the house and collecting all the religious books, papers, albums, photographs, and religious symbols, they told my father to get ready to leave. When we asked when my father would be back, they said, “Soon. He will not be away from you, for more than one or two days.” My father pleaded with the officers not to take my and my brother's photo album with them, because we depended on them and loved our photo album. One of the officers, who had been my father’s student during his studies, agreed, and for that reason, the only photo album left from the officers’ raid was my and my brother’s album.
The promise that they would release my father in one or two days and that he would return home did not come true, because about eight months later, in Urmia Prison, my father was martyred by being shot with three bullets: a bullet three inches above the umbilicus, a bullet in his left arm, and a bullet that was fired into his left temple and exited his right cheek.
My dear father! I love you and I adore you. I am proud of you that by your absence you have taught me the meaning of being and living. I admire you, for by shedding your blood, you helped me to cherish the meaning of devotion and self-sacrifice. I congratulate you that you chose eternity, between a fleeting material life and the eternal life. You taught me a lesson [by your martyrdom] that with your presence, you could not have been effective to this extent in touching the depth of my soul.
Your memory is always with us and your love is in our hearts.
I have experienced difficult days in my life and have put behind me many tests. But at the time of the emergence of any crisis, the only thing that comes to my mind is how to turn this crisis into an opportunity and how to turn that opportunity into a victory!
I talked for hours, months, and years with four walls around me in the prison and have confided a lot with these walls.
Although I am surrounded by these high walls, I have aspirations higher than they are, and have a great dream in my head.
Now, are you willing to share these wishes with me?
Are we ready to walk hand in hand, with giant steps, towards what human beings have yearned for over many years, meaning peace, unity and love? I have plans; what about you?
Think for a moment and then look at your surroundings. What are your plans for changing yourself and your perspective? How can you involve others in this change? What is your most beautiful gift to the people around you?
I will build a boat and throw it into the water/
I will get away from this filthy soil /
Where no one is in the grove of love /
To awaken the heroes/
Behind the seas is a city, where windows are open to the light/
I will continue to sing/
I will continue to sail/
Cell 4 – Hall 12