Saturday, May 23, 2009

Roxana Saberi Kept Her Hopes Up in an Iranian Prison For 100 Days Singing "The Star-Spangled Banner" to Herself

23 May 2009

Iranian-American journalist Roxanna Saberi is now back in the United States after spending 100 days in an Iranian prison for alleged spying for the United States.  Her plane touched down at Washington's Dulles International Airport Friday where she was greeted by a crowd of jubilant supporters.

After thanking all of the people who supported her while she was in prison and those who helped secure her release including President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Roxana Saberi shared proudly her secret for keeping her hopes up in prison — singing to herself the Star-Spangled Banner. 

For somebody who at one point in her incarceration faced the death sentence as a convicted spy for the United States and staged a hunger strike to dramatize her innocence, Saberi's remarks indicate the extent of her patriotic fervor. 

Here's Roxana Saberi's statement expressing gratitude to America and to people around the world who prayed and worked for her release:
I'm very happy to be back home in the U.S.  I wish I could personally thank all those who supported me during my 100 days in prison. 

The American people, President Obama, Secretary of State Clinton, the North Dakota Congressional delegation, Senators Conrad and Dorgan and Congressman Pomeroy, North Dakota Governor Hoeven and other North Dakota officials.  

The EU, the European Union, the Japanese and Swiss governments  and the Swiss embassy in Tehran were also very helpful.  I want to thank human rights organizations and my fellow journalists ... those who helped to keep my story alive and pushed for my release.  

I'm also very grateful to my fellow citizens and others around the world including many people in Iran who supported my family and me during this time. 

One thing that kept me going when I was prison was singing the national anthem to myself and it may sound corny but I'm so happy to be back home in the land of the free.  Thank you.  

Here are the CNN video clips of Roxana Saberi's grateful, joyful homecoming :

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