Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Captive for 444 days in Iran

The Jewish Federation of Volusia & Flagler Counties is bringing former prisoner in Iran Barry Rosen to speak at Temple Israel, 1400 S. Peninsula, Daytona Beach, on May 7, at 7 p.m.

On Nov. 4, 1979, Rosen became one of 52 Americans who was taken prisoner for 444 days by militants angry after the deposed Shah of Iran was allowed into the United States for medical treatment. Those distant events resonate now with the Egyptian uprising and questions about whether it could become a reprise of the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran.  He was 34 when he was kept as a prisoner.

In 1967 he joined the Peace Corps and was assigned to Iran. "That experience, shaped my professional life," he stated. After returning to the U.S., he went on to do graduate work at the Middle East Languages and Cultures Department at Columbia University, where he studied Farsi, Tajik and Uzbek. In 1974, he became head of the UzBek Desk of the Voice of America, where he and his staff prepared daily broadcasts to the former Soviet Republic of Uzbekistan and Central Asia. In this position, he was gauging public opinion of VOA.

In Novermber 1978, Rosen returned to Iran as the embassy's Press Attache in Tehran. Because of his fluency in Farsi, and knowledge of the country, he looked forward to assisting American foreign policy. The rest is history, and he will speak about his captivity on May 7. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, please call the Federation at 386-672-0294.


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