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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read and great primer on human rights
I admit, when I first heard the story about Roxana Saberi, I was skeptical. There were things reported by the press that contradictory and her first interview back with NPR and Good Morning America gave the impression that she was hiding a lot. That being said, I was interested enough to hear what she had to say that I purchased the book through amazon.com...
Published on April 1, 2010 by Here,There, Everywhere

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars well done
Ms. Saberi's book is engaging and easy to read. I'm a big Iran fan, so it easily tied me in & I read it in just 48 hours. I like how she broke down facts about Iran in ways that Americans can relate to. In my opinion, she did this better than Lipstick Jihad & even Reading Lolita in Tehran. I like that she did point out that what happened to her is mild compared to how...
Published on November 17, 2010 by BookGurl


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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read and great primer on human rights, April 1, 2010
This review is from: Between Two Worlds: My Life and Captivity in Iran (Hardcover)
I admit, when I first heard the story about Roxana Saberi, I was skeptical. There were things reported by the press that contradictory and her first interview back with NPR and Good Morning America gave the impression that she was hiding a lot. That being said, I was interested enough to hear what she had to say that I purchased the book through amazon.com.

Overall, the book is an interesting and easy read. The first chapter was kind of a slow start and I was worried that this type of writing was going to carrying on throughout the whole book, but by the third chapter, the writing improves greatly. This could be attributed to the fact that memoir-writing is much different than journalism and non-fiction and she needed to get her feet wet a little bit while setting up the scene. Once the scene is set, however, the book has an excellent flow.

In Between Two Worlds, Saberi talks in detail about her experience with her interrogators and the story of her cell mates. I cannot imagine the psychological torture that Ms. Saberi went through, but she does an excellent job of conveying the difficult situation she was in. When she talks about her interrogator, a man she nicknamed Javon, you can picture what he must have been like and how he must have behaved, including the arrogant manner one would assume that he carries himself in.

As she talks about her experience, facts about Iran are peppered in, but not too heavily. I think the balance she found worked well. Some of the facts a well-read individual would know, some definitely would come only from someone who has been living inside of the culture.

I appreciate the fact that Saberi remained respectful towards Iran, a country that often fuels partisan comments. The truth is that people in the West know very little about the Iranian culture or society. We rely on mainstream networks and politicians for our information and base our opinions on the talking-points of government policy. From reading this book, one can tell that she truly loves Iran and the people in Iran. Iran definitely appears to be one of those places from the outside looking in you can't understand it and from the inside looking out, you can't explain it. But Saberi did explain it, well. I look forward to reading the book she was working on while in Iran on the Iranian culture.

I would have liked a little bit more closure at the end of the book and the epilogue to contain more information about Saberi's life now, rather than more about Iran. I felt the information she gave in the epilogue was a little bit redundant. Her story makes us become emotionally involved with her throughout the book, and I wanted a clearer picture of where her life was at now. Is she still with the same boyfriend she was with throughout the book, or did youer departure from Iran break up that union? Is she still considering marriage? How is her family now that she has been released? How has she adjusted to life outside of Iran, back in the US, after her ordeal? How does it feel to now be on the other side of the news report? How is she adjusting to this phase in her life? I guess with the title of Between Two Worlds and because there was so many people who rallied behind her internationally, I thought the book would have included a bit more of that. Perhaps that is something to come on a website, etc.

I thank Ms. Saberi for writing about her experience so soon after it happened. There are other books out there about Evin, but most have been produced years after the actual detainment. I think it provides an excellent reference point to anyone interested in human rights.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read, April 8, 2010
This review is from: Between Two Worlds: My Life and Captivity in Iran (Hardcover)
Roxana Saberi's book, "Between Two Worlds," chronicals her time spent as a journalist in Evin Prison in Iran. Young Saberi has been followed for years and finally before she decides to leave the country, the authorities arrest her on trumped up charges of being a "spy." She had been living in Iran for six years as a journalist and was writing a book about Iranian society. Well, she involunarily saw more of Iranian society than she bargained for; she saw the inside of the notorious Evin Prison. As Saberi was imprisoned on trumped up charges, she would soon find others imprisoned under similar circumstances. She found true freindship with the women she shared her cell with. The world needs this book to see human rights abuses as told first hand. This Islamic Regime imprisons innocents for their work on AIDS. They imprison religious minorities including Baha'is, political activists and others. If the Islamic Iranian regime treats innocent people this way by imprisoning them, torturing them, and withholding basic human rights, the rest of the world needs to know it and needs to denounce it. Thank you Ms. Saberi, for bringing the plight of ordinary Iranians to our attention. I sincerely hope the world will read your book and become outraged.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real eye-opener, March 19, 2012
I remember when Roxana Saberi was in the news. She was an Iranian-American reporter who had been detained by Iranian authorities, and the U.S. State Department was pulling diplomatic strings to negotiate her release. For many people watching the news, this was just another story of a reporter who had somehow run afoul of the Iranian government's inscrutable laws, and who would, after a few scary moments, be reunited with her family. I knew better. But I did not know nearly enough.

I had heard that Ms. Saberi was being held in the notorious Evin prison, a prison known for its torture and its unusually high "accidental" death rate. I knew something of Evin because, as a member of the Bahá'í Faith, I was aware that a growing number of my Iranian coreligionists were being jailed in Evin for no other reason than that they were Bahá'ís. Some had received prison sentences as long as 20 years. I had heard of the appalling conditions in that prison and the brutal interrogation techniques, sometimes involving torture, that were used to induce prisoners to recant their faith or make false confessions. I had heard how 4 or 5 prisoners were forced to share a cell no larger than a walk-in closet, with nothing but a thin blanket separating them from the cold and filthy concrete floor. But notwithstanding all of those stories, it was not until I read Ms. Saberi's first-hand account of her ordeal in that prison that I started to catch a glimpse of the true horrors my spiritual brothers and sisters are experiencing, and the mortal danger to which they are daily exposed. Although Ms. Saberi is not a Bahá'í, she shared a cell with two Bahá'í women for a time and was subject to similar treatment.

Ms. Saberi tells her story with a realism and attention to detail that transports the reader directly into the interrogation room with her menacing captors, into the dank cell in which she is kept in solitary confinement, into the surreal "court room" with a cantankerous judge who had already decided her fate before she walked in. But what struck me most about this book is Ms. Saberi's courage. She showed remarkable courage while imprisoned with no plausible hope of release, but writing about her experience in the first person and exposing her darkest moments and deepest fears to the world was no less courageous an act. Her story manages to be both honest and visceral.

Reading this book will open your eyes to the incestuous relationship between an Iranian intelligence community that has slipped into a paranoid delirium and a judicial system that is so broken it has abandoned all pretense of justice. Add to that the harsh realities of Evin prison, and what emerges is the epitome of the Kafkaesque nightmare, a nightmare from which, for a growing number of prisoners of conscience, there seems to be no waking up.

I highly recommend this book to anyone wishing to gain a better understanding of the level of perversity to which the current Iranian regime has sunk, and the countless innocent victims it has caught in its snare. The book itself is masterfully written and a fast and captivating read.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Helped me feel brave against bullies, September 15, 2011
I am in the 7th grade and homeschooled. My mom and dad had me read Ms. Saberi's book for school. I learned a lot of things that I can use in my life from Ms. Saberi and I think I am lucky to have learned those lessons. One lesson that I learned in the book is how to deal with bullies. The men that came and got Ms. Saberi were bullies that had a lot of power and were able to trap her in prison. They are a lot like bullies that are in schools, who make people afraid of them and do what they want them to do, because people are scared. Bullies in school finally stop bothering you when you finally stand up for yourself and Ms. Saberi stood up for herself. She didn't do it in a bad way, where she beat them up, but she did it in knowing who she was and what she was about and not letting them hurt the person she is inside. Even though the bullies made Ms Saberi feel sad and bad at first, once she said, "No way! This is not who I am and why should they win and make me someone I am not!" and she was able to be very brave and stand up to them. I think that kids should learn a lot from that.

I also learned a lot on how to look for happy things even if things seem really sad. Even though Ms. Saberi was away from all the people she loved and all of the things she enjoyed by being in prison, she was able to find things to be happy about in jail. I thought it was funny that she taught inmates how to swear and that they told jokes. I also thought it was neat how she became such good friends and did things like her eyebrows. It showed me that no matter how bad things might seem and even if you are in a place you don't want to be in, there is always something to find to be happy about.

Mostly Ms Saberi taught me how people are badly treated in other places of the world and how sometimes, no one knows that they are. We are all people and it is our jobs to take care of one another. I am just like a girl in Iran and she is just like me, even if we live in different places. I would want someone to care about me if I was being treated badly and I want to care about her because she is being treated badly. I think adults sometimes forget that and maybe Ms. Saberi can remind them to just be nice to each other no matter where they are at or what things they like. We are all different like a box of crayons, but we are all crayons and we all live in the same box. I thought it was really neat learning about Iran and some of the things they do there. Some of them are really neat and I wish we did here too!

Ms Saberi taught me about using my voice, not my anger. She taught me to use my heart, not my fear. She taught me to always try to do the right thing, no matter how mad I get and no matter who my bullies might be.

I think that other kids could learn these lessons too and should read this book with their parents so they can talk about it. I think she is totally awesome for getting through all of that and hope that one day I am brave and strong like she is.

There are a lot of people on tv and in magazines that don't behave the way they should and do bad things and they are who kids like me have for role models besides my mom and my dad. I am really happy for Ms. Saberi who is smart, brave, and strong because that means I have someone who is good to look up to instead of people who care about not really important things to look up to.

Oh and the reindeer's names are: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, and Blitzen. (Now you know to sing next Christmas)
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Struggle of the Soul, April 6, 2010
This review is from: Between Two Worlds: My Life and Captivity in Iran (Hardcover)
I bought this book yesterday afternoon and could not put it down until 1:00 a.m. Roxanna weaves the rich pageantry of the best and worst of the Iranian society with a story of soul searching through the mental and physical anguish of her captivity into an intricate fabric worthy of the finest rugs from Iran. Her struggle to tell the truth and do what is right is all too human in the light of all the forced confessions that have occurred since the June election and brings a firsthand prespective into perhaps the least of suffering that those people were going through.

It also sheds a brilliant light onto the lives of 2 of the 5 Baha'i leader who have been in captivity for over two years for probably sticking to the truth as had many other women for various other beliefs. The choice to stand up for what is right vs. the violent forces of darkness is put into an all human story firsthand. I highly recommend this book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Such a terrific book, April 10, 2010
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This review is from: Between Two Worlds: My Life and Captivity in Iran (Hardcover)
This really is a wonderful book. The style was a bit unpolished at first (as the scene had to be rapidly set) but it still flowed well and really took off in the latter two-thirds. This is not an anti-Iran book. On the contrary, it is very clear that the author has fallen in love with Iran and Iranian culture. The evolving ultra-conservative authoritarian regime tore her from her world into the psycho-torture of Evin Prison and the warped paranoia of the revolutionary court. This book is a memoir of her time there peppered with background from experiences from her previous 6 years.

It is a cultural, social, spiritual, and political drama and should be required reading for any political science class studying oppression.

On a personal note, I am so proud of this author. She exhibits a humanity and courage that we would all strive toward. I trust that this work will have positive repercussions that ripple for years and decades and I wonder if the events, as tragic as they were, might not have set the author on a great path. I pray that there are no permanent scars.

For those who remember Zahra Kazemi, her death is not in vain. It set the stage for awareness that may have protected the author and perhaps aided her release to be able to write this book.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Read, April 6, 2010
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This review is from: Between Two Worlds: My Life and Captivity in Iran (Hardcover)
Between Two Worlds is an excellent read that I highly recommend. I found it especially interesting since I have known the author for many years.

She is an incredibly brilliant young woman with a curious nature and an unending thirst for knowledge. These characteristics prompted her to sieze the opportunity to fulfill her dream of becoming a foreign correspondent and to learn about her father's homeland.

The country and its people fascinated her, though she was extremely concerned about the human rights of the citizens.

The book is a very vivid well written description of her arrest and unjust incarceration. She speaks with much compassion and admiration for her
cellmates.

Readers will admire her courage and determination.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A realistic glimpse into Evin Prison and human rights in Iran, April 13, 2010
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This review is from: Between Two Worlds: My Life and Captivity in Iran (Hardcover)
Roxana's writing draws one into the grim world within the walls of notorious Evin prison and its dark realities. She is able to convey her story in an honest and touching manner without conveying any bitterness or anger.

Her relationship with some of her cell mates is moving and their salutary and spiritual effect on her is uplifting - Fariba, Mahvash and the other "angels in Evin" are an example for all of us to emulate. Roxana's reference to Viktor Frankl's writings regarding " the last of the human freedoms" - as being the ability to "choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances..." really rings true when reading about how she was able to bravely transform her adversity into advantage or when turning "challenge into an opportunity" as explained to her by the Baha'i women.

The book illustrates the extent to which the human rights of the many prisoners of conscience are violated -- which from all accounts has only gotten worse in the last year.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A struggle for freedom, January 10, 2011
By 
Jaylia3 (Silver Spring, MD United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
After six years of living in Iran, the country of her father, while doing interviews and research for a book she planned to write Roxana Saberi was roused from sleep and hauled out of her apartment for hours and then days of unrelenting hostile questioning in January 2009. Charged with espionage, she spent more than 100 days in the notorious Evin prison, sometimes in solitary confinement and never with more than a blanket on the floor for a bed. Her interrogators pressured her to make false confessions, threatening her by saying she would never be freed and could be executed if she didn't "cooperate". After a while she decided to try going along with them, but the more she lied in an effort to placate them enough to secure her release the more they demanded. Roxana was deeply ashamed of the lies and worried about damage they might cause but in the most affecting part of the book she is able to regain feelings of control and self-respect after being inspired by the example of fellow prisoners--women who were locked up for their religious or political beliefs--to change her strategy and tell only the truth even in the most threatening circumstances. A hard to put down story.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Between Two Worlds: My Life and Captivity in Iran, January 8, 2012
I bought this book for my dad for Christmas. I was stuck in a little town, during a blizzard, so decided I would see if it was any good. I couldn't put it down! Then, when I had finished it, I mulled over the story for a couple days, and then, I read it again!! An amazing read!
I remember watching Roxana Saberi on the local (Fargo, ND) news. She was poised and articulate in her reporting of small town happenings. I remember when those same local stations reported that she had been arrested in Iran. Everyone was shocked and horrified! How could this beautiful woman be charged with espionage?? This book is spot-on true to the title. It is not fiction, but a first-hand view of a young woman's life before and during her wrongful imprisonment in an Iranian jail. "Between Two Worlds:..." is scary, jail in Iran isn't what jail in America is.... but, it is beautiful as well. The women that Roxana meets in jail, are amazingly resilient, helping to keep her spirits up. Bolstering her convictions that she did nothing wrong. It's amazing and sad, that we, as Americans living in the U.S., don't realize is happening in the rest of the world.
BUY THIS BOOK!!! READ THIS BOOK!!! :)
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Between Two Worlds: My Life and Captivity in Iran
Between Two Worlds: My Life and Captivity in Iran by Roxana Saberi (Hardcover - March 30, 2010)
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