Abilene Christian College - Prickly Pear Yearbook (Abilene, TX)

 - Class of 1982

Page 54 of 424

 

Abilene Christian College - Prickly Pear Yearbook (Abilene, TX) online yearbook collection, 1982 Edition, Page 54
Page 54



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Captivity leaves Rosen thoughtful, not bitter ore than a year had passed since Barry Rosen and 51 other American citizens returned to the United States after 14 and a half mon- ths of captivity in various Iranian cities. Rosen, former U.S. press attache at the embassy in Tehran, spoke Nov. 19 in Cullen Auditorium on "Iran As I Saw It." Approximately 700 people waited for the former hostage to give detailed descriptions of his confinement and his captors. But Rosen surprised the audience, mainly university students, as he began an hour-long speech. He did not dwell on his captivity as he spoke. Instead, he concentrated on Iranian history and events leading to revolution and the rise to power of the Ayatollah Khomeini. Rosen explained his attitude about cap- tivity: "I think the media want me to say how I hate Iranians and how Iranians are bad, and Americans are wonderful. We have to sit down and think about the Ira- nian situation as more than just that and learn from it. I don't think we've learned from it." He said it was important to try to evaluate and understand events leading to this explosive period in Iran rather than condemn the entire culture. Rosen, a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., became familiar with the Iranian culture as a result of a two-year Peace Corps assignment in Iran. The U.S. government should have been concerned about domestic affairs and human rights in Iran, he said. Instead, the government thought about what Iran could do for the United States in relation to the Soviet Union. "Khomeini is now accepted by the students and the rest of the Iranian public," he said. "As long as he lives, Iran 50 Barry Rosen, will have stability, regardless of how the country appears to observers." The insight and positive attitude that Rosen exhibited throughout the speech and the question and answer session that followed his delivery, were remarkable as he gave details of his "sojourn into agony." He spent six months in a maximum security prison and during the entire time prison cell for many months, and you kno' you haven't done anything wrong it's reall devastating," he said. "We take mobilit for granted as if it's a right, not a privilege In Iran it's no right at all, and no privileg - it's nothing." Several times throughout captivitj Rosen said he thought his captors intende to kill him. As part of a "game" they hel 'We have to sit down and think about the Iranian situation - and learn from it.' he was confined, he was allowed outside for only four and a half hours. Rosen said he meditated, jogged and exercised in his prison cell, and thought about his family throughout his captivity. "Thoughts about my wife and my two young children sustained me more than anything else during those tortured hoursf' he said. Rosen said an uneasy feeling existed in the embassy before the takeover by Ira- nian militants. But the embassy officials continued to believe promises of protection from the Iranian government, and they tried to dispel the uneasy thoughts, he said. "The first day after surrendering the embassy they fthe militantsj bound each of us with nylon cord. We were positioned face to face and told to sleep," Rosen said. "I tried to sleep but the cord continued to tighten around my wrists and feet. I began to settle down and think about my wife, Barbara, my two children, Alexander and Ariana. What must they be going through? Do they know what is happening?" "When you're locked up in a room or a a gun to his head. The day when Rosen learned he was 1 be released, one of the militant studeni tried to convince him that he and othi Americans had been treated well. Ros replied, "You made those that love Irj hate you." He said he had good memories abou Iran and does not hold grudges against 1 feel hatred for the people in Iran despi his treatment. Rosen also commented on the publici and acclaim the hostages received wh: they returned home: "We were called heroes, but I don't co: sider myself a hero," he said. "The hero were the eight servicemen who lost the lives in an attempt to rescue us." - Marybetli Perkins and Suzetta Nutt "Iran As I Saw It" was the topic of speech given by former Iranian hosta, Barry Rosen. Rosen, former press attaci at the embassy in Tehran, spoke to crowd of almost 700 people Nov. I9 Cullen Auditorium.

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