Sarah Shourd is a journalist, playwright and UC Berkeley Visiting Scholar based in Oakland, CA. She spent 410 days in solitary confinement from 2009 to 2010 while being held as a political hostage by the Iranian government. Before her imprisonment in Iran, Shourd lived and worked in a Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus, Syria for over a year. Previously, she spent her 20s doing international solidarity work with the Zapatista Movement in Chiapas, Mexico and anti-war organizing in the San Francisco Bay Area. After her release, Shourd appeared on Oprah and worked alongside figures such as President Obama, Sean Penn, Muhammad Ali and President Ahmadinejad himself to secure the release of her fellow-hostages, one of whom she later married.
For the last five years, Shourd