Davoudi, now 56, had been studying math at the National University in Tehran when the Islamic revolution began in 1979. All the universities in Iran were closed for about a year while the revolutionaries overhauled the educational system to reflect Islamic ideals. When they reopened, the students were given an application for readmission.
This time, they were asked to list their religion.
Davoudi identified herself as a member of the Baha’i faith, and was expelled. An administrator at the university, who knew Davoudi personally, offered to get her an appointment with the dean to appeal the expulsion.
“I told him that I’m Baha’i and that I was expelled from the university only because of this. I talked about human rights,” says Davoudi. “He said ‘you’re not human, how dare you talk about human rights?’