When Jaleh Jahandideh left the United States in January to visit her 92-year-old father in Iran for the first time in 12 years, she took four huge suitcases full of clothing and gifts for her extended family.
A satchel the size of a large fanny-pack slung over her shoulder was the only bag the Germantown woman had when she returned Saturday, after 21 days in an Iranian prison and a harrowing escape by horseback over the steep Zagros mountains into Iraq.
The petite Jahandideh emerged, arms raised in a ‘‘V”, from U.S. Customs at Virginia’s Dulles International Airport with a look of joy and relief matched only by the expressions of her husband, stepson and daughter and son-in-law. The family spent a tense two-and-a-half months working to get Jahandideh out of Iran after authorities detained her when her ex-husband, a former military intelligence official and her daughter’s father, learned she was back in Iran.
Memo: If your ex-husband is a former military intelligence official for the Iranian regime, you probably want to be careful what you say to him.
Jahandideh’s trip to Orumiyeh to visit her family began peacefully. Then, her ex-husband –– with whom she attended state dinners in the 1980s during the reign of the Ayatollah Khomeini –– visited her. He grew increasingly angry as she spoke about her life in America, Jahandideh said during an interview Monday, adding that he recorded the conversation.
Well, you can probably guess what happened after that, but you'll never guess how she got away. Go to the link to read the whole thing, it's amazing. And a big cheer for the Kurds!