Eshraghieh

My dear Aunt Eshraghieh was an example of a modern living martyr. From her early days in school in the Muslim section of Nayriz she was constantly the subject of abuse, insults, and stoning by other children and adults on her way to and from school. They threw her books away, stole her lunch and cursed her to her face. She was a shy and sensitive girl and the insults to her beliefs and the central figure of her faith was unbearable. She was under so much pressure, from the torments and the cruelty, that she could not continue her education nor participate in the final exam. Eventually, along with some other members of the family, she left Nayriz. She lived in the city of Abadan for a few years. Unfortunately she accepted a marriage proposal from a distant non-Baha'i relative and returned to Nayriz. Once again she fell into to the depth of misery, this time more severe than before.

While in Nayriz, Siyyid Moheydin was the mullá in charge of the mosque in the Mahaleh of the Chinár-Sukhtih district. He caused tremendous and horrible pressure on Bahá'ís for more than thirty years. Due to his actions, great numbers of Bahá'ís decided to leave Nayriz and take refuge in other parts of the country. During this time, on numerous occasions her relatives assaulted her. They tried to force her to the mosque to recant, but she refused. In return she tried to show more love for them. For fifteen years on a daily basis she washed their clothes, fed their children, took care of their animals, walked miles and miles to bring fresh water, and cleaned their houses, but they never showed any appreciation or kindness towards Eshraghieh. They continued to tell her that since she was a Bahá'í, other people were not dealing with them because she was considered unclean. They prevented her from praying and fasting and they stopped her from having any communication with other Baha'is. She contracted tuberculosis and developed an ulcer. Mistreated and denied medical help, no one came to rescue her or help. At the end of her life they sent her to her older sister in Shiraz and it was there she died while only forty years old. She was buried in the Bahá'í cemetery in Shiraz. I remember my Aunt Eshraghieh very well. She was extremely kind to me. I often recall the memory of her gentle face, her soft look and voice.

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