After spending 112 days in Iran's Evin prison, Concordia University professor Homa Hoodfar arrived at Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport on Sept. 29 armed with a big smile.
"I've had a bitter several months, and the detention has really left me weak and tired," said Hoodfar in a press conference held at the airport upon her arrival.
She said the most difficult part of her incarceration was not being able to communicate with a lawyer or her family. "That was the hardest thing," said Hoodfar. "Not knowing what is happening, and knowing that my family are very worried [about] not being able to talk to me."
Hoodfar said she was reluctant to believe she had actually been released. "I didn't feel that I would be released until I was in the jet," said Hoodfar. "Because in Iran, nothing is complete until it's complete." She said she was not sure if plans would change at the last moment. "They hadn't told me what the plans were," Hoodfar said. "When I was in the jet, I knew I was free."
Hoodfar said this experience will not stop her from conducting research. "Not only has it not stopped me from that, it has opened new avenues that maybe I would not have pursued in the same way before," said Hoodfar.
Hoodfar said she does not plan on returning to Iran any time soon. "I think for a while I'm going to stay in Montreal," she said.
"It is just wonderful to feel you are in a place [where] you feel secure and you can see friends," she said.
Hoodfar said in the coming days, she looks forward to spending time with family and friends, as well as enjoying the tail end of summer.