Sunday, September 25, 2011

Iranian Prisoners Shane and Josh Freed!

The news coverage of Shane and Josh finally freed after their long, terrifying ordeal is amazing. I couldn't imagine being kept captive for over two years in dark, dingy, dirty, lonely quarters with what kind of food? What kind of health care? God only knows.

How brave they are to had endured and survived and be here now to tell us their incredible story!

I know a bit about how horrible prisons overseas can be, because while teaching in Thailand for six years I often visited the prisons to aid the prisoners. Why? Because their only crime was crossing the border from Cambodia into Thailand and the conditions of the prisoners were horrendous! Not too different from what Shane and Josh had done, but within the Middle East.

The cells were so jammed packed with prisoners, they could barely move and there was very little water and no bathroom. How horrific. I often brought water bottles to the prison with some friends to hand out to those inside the bars.

Unlike these Cambodians who after a period of time are simply departed back to their home country, Josh and Shane had to pay a fee. 1 million dollars. 
But they are finally free.
In their words: 

"Today can only be described as the best day of our lives," the families of Bauer, Fattal and Shourd said in a joint statement. "We have waited for nearly 26 months for this moment, and the joy and relief we feel at Shane and Josh's long-awaited freedom knows no bounds."

I  have a friend who lives in Iran and he attests to the "control" the government has over the people. control of the internet, alcohol, clothing, behavior, and in many aspects of one's life. This is only part of the reason the Iranian people fought in the breif-lived civil war to gain some control over their own lives.

I hope we, as Americans, learn from this and realize what we have -freedom. All Iranians are not the same, some favoring freedom and some wanting to further controls in government. But everyone deserves to choose what they want for their own lives. 

Let us remember those still in confinement in Iran and remember how blessed we are to have freedom and continue to fight for those who are in need. Not with guns, but with words. 

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