Forever Under Construction

Cyrus by Katy

Posted in Cyrus The Great, Human Rights, Iran, Iraq, Movie by homeyra on November 15, 2006

In the previous post I wrote about the making of “In search of Cyrus the Great” by Spenta Productions, and the adventures of Cyrus Kar, the Iranian born American film maker, who has set out to make this epic about the Persian Emperor whose Manifest of Human Rights inspired people and governments for centuries.

About Kar’s misadventures while filming on location in Iraq, his cousin, Katy, has been kind enough to write the following:

“Thank you for posting and bringing attention to this story. Cyrus is my cousin, so I know his story of being captured in Iraq very well. He and his camera man, Farshid Faraji (award wining Iranian camera man) got into a taxi cab. At a nearby checkpoint in Baghdad, Iraqi police searched the cab and they found washing machine timers in the trunk, which can be used as IEDs. Though the cab driver did admit that his passengers had nothing to do with the washing machine timers, Cyrus, Farshid along with the cabbie were taken to Abu Gharib where they were treated horribly and feared for their lives. Cyrus and Farshid’s family did not know if they were alive or dead for almost 2 weeks. They were not allowed a phone call home or any kind of due process until my family and the ACLU filed a lawsuit. Cyrus spent most of his 2 months in prison in a closet sized cell in solitary confinement. Because Cyrus was an American citizen (and FYI Navy veteran I might add) he was taken to another facility – Camp Cropper – where high profile detainees are held. Farshid stayed in AbuGharib crammed in a cell with Arab detainees, whom he could not communicate with because he only speaks Persian (not like any of the soldiers cared).
I can’t begin to describe the helplessness of what its like when the government has such unjust control over your family’s fate.

Cyrus was filming footage of ancient Babel (in Iraq) to tell his story about Cyrus the Great. A lot of his still footage was stolen and he did not get to complete his project and continues to raise money to finish this project that means everything to him. I’m just grateful that he’s home and hope he never goes back.”

Update: Cyrus & Rumsfeld
Update 07/1/09 : Interview in Persian Mirror

3 Responses

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  1. joojeh said, on November 15, 2006 at 10:11 am

    I hate to ask this… but why would a cab driver be carrying timers?

  2. homeyra said, on November 15, 2006 at 1:35 pm

    In what I read I didn’t see any explanation about that, I guess either to “use in improvised explosive devices” or to repair washing machines.
    This reminds me of the old joke:
    Bush: I am going to nuke one million Muslims and this dentist.
    Blair: Why the dentist!
    The truth is that I was much amazed by Cyrus Kar’s faith, and I forgot the taxi driver.

  3. homeyra said, on November 15, 2006 at 6:37 pm

    Thank you again for your post Katy.
    Seems we are one “collaterally damaged” crowd, with or without a foreign passport,:)


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