A major exporter of oil with a large and young population, Iran became the hotbed of revolutionary action in a sequence of dramatic events. The Shah’s regime, which had been installed by U.S. and British spy agencies at the expense of a democratically elected government, was equally replaced by a brutal theocracy whose political aspirations focused solely on its own survival, mostly with the help of imprisonment of all political opponents.In an interview with Readara, author and scholar Behrooz Ghamari, a former political prisoner between 1981 and 1985, recounts his experience of what it was like to be on a death row in a suffocatingly overcrowded prison. Packed with 25,000 other prisoners, Ghamari spent four years in a building with the capacity to contain only 1,200 people, knowing well that any day might prove to be the last. Yet, he never gave up hope. Very few people live to tell the tale under such circumstances, but Ghamari, in an emotional and well-balanced narrative, describes the daily struggles of a group of political prisoners in Tehran’s most infamous prison. Remembering Akbar tells the story of incredible strength, courage, unlikely humor, and, above all, optimism.

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