This piece is an adaptation of my capstone research project in Stanford’s Iranian Studies Minor program.

It wasn’t just me, there were a whole bunch of us in the car. They told us,

‘If any of you say a word, your head will explode.’

You know, the kind of nonsense they always say.

‘Come out of the car!’

And they push you and they don’t even tell you there are going to be stairs — you’re completely blindfolded. You don’t know where you’re going, but I had this feeling that I was in a public bath.

They took me to a room and from under my blindfold, I could see people sitting together with their feet packed like sardines. They had utilized every room because when I sat down, I knew I was sitting next to someone else — I could feel their body heat. …

Cameron Ramos

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