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19+ quotes from Then They Came for Me: A Family's Story of Love, Captivity, and Survival by Maziar Bahari

Quotes from Then They Came for Me: A Family's Story of Love, Captivity, and Survival

Maziar Bahari ·  384 pages

Rating: (3.7K votes)


“We were all caught in that uncomfortable zone between trying to save our lives and betraying ourselves.”
― Maziar Bahari, quote from Then They Came for Me: A Family's Story of Love, Captivity, and Survival


“Jafaa. In Persian, this very poetic word refers to all the wrongs you do to those who love you.”
― Maziar Bahari, quote from Then They Came for Me: A Family's Story of Love, Captivity, and Survival


“You thought of dying as a value. Young people these days appreciate being alive.”
― Maziar Bahari, quote from Then They Came for Me: A Family's Story of Love, Captivity, and Survival


“Most religious people I know follow the teachings of their religion (or what they think are the teachings of their religion) without putting that much thought into it.”
― Maziar Bahari, quote from Then They Came for Me: A Family's Story of Love, Captivity, and Survival


“God is not going to send someone to hell for my mistakes. So God and I have to deal with my own salvation.”
― Maziar Bahari, quote from Then They Came for Me: A Family's Story of Love, Captivity, and Survival


“No one believes in the koseh she’r”—the bullshit—“that you’re going to say.”
― Maziar Bahari, quote from Then They Came for Me: A Family's Story of Love, Captivity, and Survival


“Tsk, tsk, tsk, Maziar,” he said sarcastically. “Don’t play games with me, or you will make me angry again. Don’t tell me that you don’t know about these parties where men and women start with dinner and drinking alcohol and then go to the swimming pool, where they eat chocolate off each other’s bodies.” I sat silently, trying to picture it. How on earth does one eat chocolate off another person’s body in a swimming pool? I had a picture in my mind of chocolate floating on the surface of the water, and then I began to imagine the mixed taste of chlorine and chocolate.”
― Maziar Bahari, quote from Then They Came for Me: A Family's Story of Love, Captivity, and Survival


“When I saw my backside, I gasped. “I have no ass!” I said aloud. “They have left me no ass!”
― Maziar Bahari, quote from Then They Came for Me: A Family's Story of Love, Captivity, and Survival


“In arranged marriages in Iran, it is customary that after the family of the boy asks the family of the girl for her hand, they go to her house to discuss the arrangements with her parents. The girl shows her face only once, when she serves tea and sweets to the guests.”
― Maziar Bahari, quote from Then They Came for Me: A Family's Story of Love, Captivity, and Survival


“You need to have your lunch before going out to report on this ashghal,” she said, referring to Ahmadinejad. Ashghal, the Persian word for “garbage,” is the strongest insult in my mother’s lexicon.”
― Maziar Bahari, quote from Then They Came for Me: A Family's Story of Love, Captivity, and Survival


“When I asked him what he was planning to do in Canada, he didn’t have an answer. “I don’t care about myself anymore. I’ll go and clean the floors there. All I care about now is the future of my children.”
― Maziar Bahari, quote from Then They Came for Me: A Family's Story of Love, Captivity, and Survival


“Seventy-four suspended lashes for having tea with your friend!” she said, with as much hatred as I’d ever heard in her voice. “What do they expect young people to do? Pray and say ‘Death to America’ all day?” She looked at my father. “Mazi should really leave this country next year.”
― Maziar Bahari, quote from Then They Came for Me: A Family's Story of Love, Captivity, and Survival


“Talking to a prisoner under duress can be the most shameful thing a journalist will ever do. I stared at him, willing him to look me in the eye. I held the blindfold on my lap so that he could clearly see it.”
― Maziar Bahari, quote from Then They Came for Me: A Family's Story of Love, Captivity, and Survival


“I detested revolutions; I believed, instead, in reconciliation and reform.”
― Maziar Bahari, quote from Then They Came for Me: A Family's Story of Love, Captivity, and Survival


“After, presumably, Rosewater found out that Chekhov was not Jewish, he did not bother with any more questions about people with surnames ending with ov. That included my Israeli friend David Shem-tov. I don’t think you can find a more Israeli name than Shem-tov, but I could just imagine the Revolutionary Guards researchers saying to each other, “Chekhov, Molotov, Shem-tov, they are all the same!”
― Maziar Bahari, quote from Then They Came for Me: A Family's Story of Love, Captivity, and Survival


“The next day, Sunday, June 14, Ahmadinejad held a press conference in the office of the president, on Pasteur Street in south Tehran. In the large white room with its decorative varnished wood panels, I sat among the dozens of Iranian and foreign journalists, taking notes and concentrating on remaining professional, even as I felt the anger inside me growing. The newly reelected president spent the first part of the press conference boasting about his win. When reporters asked about allegations of vote rigging, he barely batted an eye: Mousavi supporters “are like a football team that has lost a game but keeps on insisting that it has won,” he said. He flashed a malicious smile and added, “You’ve lost. Why don’t you accept it?”
― Maziar Bahari, quote from Then They Came for Me: A Family's Story of Love, Captivity, and Survival


“Do you think we’re like you Americans in Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo who torture people by keeping them thirsty? We have something called ra’fateh Islami”—Islamic kindness—“in this prison. Something you Americans have never heard of.” He genuinely believed that calling someone an American was an insult, and always said the word with a sneer.”
― Maziar Bahari, quote from Then They Came for Me: A Family's Story of Love, Captivity, and Survival


“I can’t drink Nescafé, sir,” I lied, not knowing how to tell him that I found its taste revolting.”
― Maziar Bahari, quote from Then They Came for Me: A Family's Story of Love, Captivity, and Survival


“In fact, in the 1990s an adviser to the mayor of Tehran suggested that they add Prozac to Tehran’s water to revitalize the citizens.”
― Maziar Bahari, quote from Then They Came for Me: A Family's Story of Love, Captivity, and Survival


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About the author

Maziar Bahari
Born place: Tehran, Iran
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