Iranian’s release ends Bay Area son’s hunger strike

Oct 10, 20090 comments

Iranian’s release ends Bay Area son’s hunger strike Carolyn Said, Chronicle Staff Writer – From Sunday, September 20, 2009

SAN FRANCISCO — A Bay Area man broke a hunger strike he had been conducting outside San Francisco City Hall after learning of the release of his father, an activist who he said was imprisoned by Iranian authorities in June after protesting the country’s controversial election. Kourosh Zaim was released this weekend, according to his son, Turaj Zaim of Greenbrae. The younger Zaim, 33, said he received e-mails from his stepmother and his cousin in Tehran letting him know that his father was free. “My first feeling was elation,” said Turaj Zaim, who broke his 13-day fast today with vegetable broth. “I felt a wash of validation for my efforts.” Turaj Zaim, along with his mother and younger brother, fled Iran at age 6 during its war with Iraq and grew up in Chicago. Other than a few phones calls, he has had very little contact with his father, who he last saw at age 10. But after the Iranian elections, he began an exchange of e-mails. A hip-hop artist and poet, Turaj Zaim said he will speak in New York on Sept. 23 as part of protest activities during Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s planned visit to the United Nations General Assembly. At 5:30 p.m. Monday, a celebration of Kourosh Zaim’s release is planned at San Francisco Civic Center Park.