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American hiker detained in Iran calls family

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

By S. Maham Rizvi

An Elkins Park man who was been detained in Iran since July was allowed to call home for the first time yesterday.

Josh Fattal was taken into custody after crossing the Iraq-Iran border during a hiking trip with two friends.

Laura Fattal, Josh’s mother, says she was encouraged by the words he used when speaking to his father.

Fattal: ‘Hi, Dad.’ and ‘I’m OK, and I’m strong.’ and, uh, you know, ‘How are you?’ and ‘Really, don’t worry about me.’ You know, ‘I’m very strong. I’m doing exercise. I’m reading, and I’m hopeful.’

Laura Fattal said the Iranian government sometimes releases prisoners during Persian new year festivities in late March, and she hopes the celebration will bring the release of her son and his friends, Shane Bauere and Sarah Shourd

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