Sunday, June 24, 2018
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No Place Like It
Jacob Fattal, Publisher

Something very special happened just before and during the IPC APEX Expo: my son Josh and the other two hikers who had been prisoners in Iran for more than two years, went on a book tour to promote their new book, "A Sliver of Light." Many people on the APEX Show floor had seen them on TV doing interviews for various news programs, and commented on it to me, wishing them well. The book has already received some very nice reviews — well deserved by any yardstick — and Josh is back in New York working on his Ph.D. in history.

It is a time for reflection on those two very difficult years, and all the support our family received from friends — many friends, and many total strangers. During that time, my home was besieged by news media, waiting for anyone to show up who they could nail for an interview or a comment. I spent that period totally losing myself in work on U.S. Tech, trying — not very successfully — to put Josh and his imprisonment out of mind for a while at least. In general, I didn't talk about it with our special family of U.S. Tech advertisers and well-wishers, but quite a few of you knew about the situation and kept asking me if there was any news.

The State Department got involved, trying to help. My wife Laura and I made many trips to Washington, meeting with then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Obama, and they had tried to put pressure on Iran's government, but we all know that it didn't seem to make any difference. Laura made several guest appearances on TV along with the other two mothers. What can you do when you know that your adult child is in danger and there's little or nothing that you can do to shield or protect him? Sarah's release for medical reasons gave us some hope, but it wasn't until that sham of a trial that we had any reason to believe that the end of the ordeal was really approaching.

The Sultan of Oman was particularly helpful, and once again, my heartfelt thanks go out to him and his government for their assistance in helping us make a closure to this two-year-plus ordeal.

The celebration is for Josh, Sarah and Shane who are not only free, but have collaborated on a book that provides a very special intimate look at Iran and what passes for freedom there. Today, they are luxuriating in the kind of freedom that they grew up with, and their experience reminds us that there is no place on this planet quite like the U.S.A.  

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