Zarah Ghahramani was born in Tehran in 1981, two years after Ayatollah Khomeini returned to Iran to establish the Islamic Republic. Her life changed suddenly in 2001 when, after having taken part in student demonstrations, she was arrested-literally snatched off the street by secret police-and charged with inciting crimes against the people of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
While imprisoned in Tehran's notorious Evin Prison, she faced brutal interrogation, her head was shaved, and she was beaten. After being released, she was forbidden to return to the university and soon realized that she had no future in her native land.
Robert Hillman, an Australian writer, met and befriended Zarah in Iran in 2003 and helped her to escape to Australia, where she now has permanent residency. My Life as a Traitor is a beautifully written memoir of Zarah's life in Iran, revealing the human face behind the turmoil of the modern Middle East.