September 11, 2007 11:05AM

You Know It’s a Dark Hour When…

...you're having wistful fantasies about staff meetings. In all seriousness, though, there's great news: once imprisoned by Iran, Wilson Center scholar Haleh Esfandiari is back at home in Washington--and back at work at the Wilson Center. But as she says, during her stint in Evin prison, she was indeed dreaming about being back at Wilson Center staff meetings:

I had blocked, you know, thinking about my husband, my daughter, my grandchildren, the house; I blocked all that out because that would have led me to despair. So, for eight months, or for the four months in prison, I didn't think about it.

I dreamt of my first staff meeting at the Wilson Center. (Laughter.) I seriously did. I really did that, I said, OK, I would [not] tell anybody I'm in town ... I would open the door Monday morning at 9:00, walk in to the staff meeting and everybody [would say], "She's here!"

Full transcript of Esfandiari presser here. (.pdf)