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Our Friend Mona: The Remarkable Life of a Young Martyr Paperback – June 19, 2017
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About the Author
Azadeh Rohanian Perry works at the UNC School of Dentistry as a clinic manager. Her husband, Mark Perry, is a playwright and teaches in UNC’s Department of Dramatic Art. They serve together in their community, working with children, junior youth and youth, and joining with others in learning about community building.
Mark Perry's plays include "A New Dress for Mona" and "The Will of Bernard Boynton." Both are available on Amazon, as is the compilation of Mark's plays, "The Lover at the Wall: 3 Plays on Baha'i Subjects." All are published by Drama Circle.
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Mona's mother's words to the prison guards in the morgue after her daughter was hanged, ring out: "If you only knew for what reason these bodies, these children, have fallen here on this dust, you would sweep up that dust beneath their bodies and make it a remedy for your eyes."
Thousands attended the funeral of Mona and her sisters-in-faith. Sadly, even in death, Baha'is are abused. The graves of these heroines have been destroyed as the Baha'i cemetery in Shiraz has been leveled by Islamc government authorities to make way for a sports complex. But as the author says in regard to other Baha'is killed by the Iranian regime and mistreated in death: "...that patch of unmarked earth would be remembered as holy ground in the long memories of angels."
Mona was derisively called "the little Baha'i teacher" by prison guards and judicial clerics. They thought that killing her would be a good idea to stop the spread of the Baha'i Faith. They were, of course, profoundly wrong, exposing only their own bottomless cruelty and the shallowness to their claim to represent Islam. I am often reminded of snippets from popular culture that encapsulate profound truths. Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars tells Darth Vader something that applies to so many who offer themselves up for our sake: "If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine."
Mona Mahmudnizhad's is extremely powerful and her example shines forever as a testament to the power of the spiritual truth revealed by Bahá'u'lláh to stand courageously against the impotent forces of tyranny and oppression.