Happy Mother’s Day, Mahvash and Fariba!

#ReleaseBahai7 NOT ANOTHER YEAR of missing graduations, weddings, and births!

Today’s blog will honour Mahvash Sabet and Fariba Kamalabadi, the two women arrested in 2008 for simply being, nothing more and nothing less, members of the Baha’i Faith.

Mahvash Sabet was born on 4 February 1953 in Ardestan. She began her professional career as a teacher and also worked as a principal at several schools. After the Islamic revolution, however, like thousands of other Iranian Baha’i educators, she was fired from her job and blocked from working in public education. She married Siyvash Sabet on 21 May 1973. They have a son and a daughter, Masrur and Negar.

Mahvash was arrested in Mashhad on 5 March 2008. in these nine years she has missed the graduation of her daughter, the publication events that have occurred since the publication of her book, Prison Poems, and many other special moments in a family’s history.

Fariba Kamalabadi was born in Tehran on 12 September 1962. An excellent student, she graduated from high school with honors but was nevertheless barred from attending university. Instead, she embarked on an eight-year period of informal study and ultimately received an advanced degree in developmental psychology from the Baha’i Institute of Higher Education (BIHE), an alternative institution established by the Baha’i community of Iran to provide higher education for its young people. Fariba married fellow Baha’i Ruhollah Taefi in 1982. They have three children.

Fariba was arrested on 14 March 2008. In these 9 years of imprisonment Fariba has missed out on her youngest daughter’s graduation, this same daughter’s wedding in 2014, and the birth of her grandchildren in 2014, 2016, and 2017. Letters to her daughter on her wedding day and to her grandson on his birth expressed the pain she felt by being deprived the right to be by her children’s sides on these special moments:

This pain is the pain of being apart, the pain of a mother being far from her child for these many years, without the aid of the tongue which creates loving poetry for her. In her thoughts has held her tight and given her warmth; without the use of her eyes she has witnessed her growth, and now with the eye of the soul she is observing her all elegant and graceful in a white wedding gown.”

“Although I am deprived of seeing, touching, smelling, kissing and holding you in my arms, you do not know how I was counting the moments until your arrival…your birth not only heralds the permanent birth of gentleness and serenity in the universe, but it also promises the realization of the oneness of humankind on earth.”

*The above information was adapted from: http://iranpresswatch.org/post/17505/no-mother-can-deprived-seeing-children-grow/

More information about Mahvash Sabet can be found in this video: 9 Things You May Not Know About Mahvash Sabet.

And this lovely video illuminates the effects that these illegal arrests have had on their families: The Missing Years.

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