Tala Raasi was just 16 when a party she was attending was raided by a militant group and thrown into a detention centre and punished for her outfit.
A Muslim woman who was sentenced to 40 lashes for wearing a miniskirt has revealed how she has become a bikini designer in a snub to her persecutors.
Tala Raasi was just 16 when a party she was attending was raided by a militant group called the Basij, who consider themselves defenders of Islam.
She said that despite not finding any drugs or alcohol, they did uncover foreign videos, satellite TV and 90210 posters – and Tala dressed in a short skirt, tight top and wearing nail polish and make-up.
The group of teenagers were taken to Tehran’s notorious Vozara detention centre and sentenced to 40 lashes for each of the girls, and 50 each for the boys.
After the brutal incident in 1998, Tala’s family decided to relocate to the United States, despite not speaking any English, where she went on to launch a successful career as a fashion designer.
Now aged 35, she has just launched her own swim wear line and released her own book.
In an extract from her book released to the Daily Mail, Tala recalled the ‘torture’ of receiving 40 lashes after being led into a dark room and forced to lay on a bed.
“Suddenly I felt the leather whip, drenched in water, lash viciously across my back. The pain was excruciating, and I was so petrified that I lose my voice.
“I could hear the whip whooshing through the air back and forth, and my back felt like it had just caught on fire. It was burning. I thought I was going to pass out. There were no screams left in me.”
Tala explained that initially she was angry at her family for moving her to America before realising the opportunities she had.
She enrolled in language classes and got a job at a bridal boutique, sparking her passion for fashion.
Tala now has her own bikini label named Dar Be Bar, which sponsored the 2010 Miss Universe pageant.
However, she said she does receive criticism for what she does.
She said: “There’s a lot of controversy because I’m a Muslim woman who designs bathing suits and everyone is very quick to judge.”
But Tala doesn’t let the comments put her off and simply says what she does is ’empowering’ to women.