Dr. Homa Darabi

For years, Dr. Darabi had urged her sister, Parvin, an engineer living in California, to come home and help reconstruct her native land. Now it was Homa who wanted to leave. In 1991, Parvin traveled to Iran and asked Homa’s husband for permission to take her out of the country so she could start a new life. “In front of my entire family, the man turned obnoxious,” she says. “He told me that Iran was an Islamic Republic and he owned this woman, that I was nobody and my mother was nobody and there was nothing we could do. And he was correct. Under Islamic rule, a woman has no rights. And this is what bothers me the most, the feeling of helplessness.”