Sarah Shourd on The Box

Sarah ShourdIn 2009, Sarah Should was living in Damascus. She and two friends took a vacation to northern Iraq, which was peaceful at the time. They decided to go on a day hike near the Iranian border. An Iranian patrol arrested them. And Sarah spent the next 410 days in solitary confinement. You may remember that period. Negotiations over “the hikers” made international headlines. After some time, her family decided to go public with appeals for leniency from the Iranian government. Sarah’s mom, Nora, came on the air here at KPFA. After she got out, Sarah threw herself into working on the prison system that we have here in the United States. She wrote articles. She toured the country collecting stories from people in solitary confinement here. And now she’s out with a play that brings that work to the stage. It’s called “The Box: What would you do if you had nothing left to lose?”, and it opens tomorrow night in San Francisco’s Z Space.

Plus: A look at how billions of dollars a year in credit card swipe fees help move money from the poor to the well-off, and a discussion of Berkeley’s bid to regulate short-term rental companies like AirBNB.


  • Kriss Worthington, Berkeley City Councilmember representing district 7
  • Ty Hudson, researcher with HERE Local 2850
  • Sarah Shourd is a journalist who spent 410 days in solitary confinment in Iran; also a playwright whose new production, The Box, opens Friday night at Z Space in San Francisco.

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