This is a gripping, page-turning memoir of a US-trained Iranian fighter pilot who flew in the Shah of Iran’s and the Ayatollah Khomeini’s air force.
Sharifirad was shot down in the Iraqi-Iranian war in the early 1990s. Saved by a group of local Kurds, he returned to Iran where he became a national hero. A movie, called Eagles, based on his rescue, was made in Iran in 1984. Sharifirad’s story was also published in Iran in a book called Crash on the Fortieth Mission. Shortly after his return to Iran, the Ayatollah sent him to Pakistan as military attaché. When he returned toTeheran, he was accused of being a CIA spy and was imprisoned, interrogated, and tortured. Sharifirad served a prison term and upon his release, despite constant surveillance, managed to smuggle his family out of the country. Eventually, he too managed a harrowing escape from Iran via Turkey to Canada, where he now lives with his family in Vancouver.
The book also provides an absorbing historical and cultural backdrop to Iran.
I strongly recommend this book to those who want to learn more about Iran.
...Sharifirad has written a very personal account of life under a totalitarian regime. Translating his experiences to millions of Chinese, North Koreans, Cubans, Syrians and Thais can help those who live in freedom to appreciate it more fully.
...an extraordinary story...Sharifirad's description of his year in prison is harrowing. His raw, moment-to-moment style brings readers right into the room as he is interrogated, tortured, and left to rot...