Mahtab Ghorbani is an Iranian poet and writer living in France. After a long-distance residency, she was able to visit La Saline royale d'Arc-et-Senans where she met another Iranian resident, Hossein Hajizade. She then joined the CCR in Neimënster to continue working on her project of a novel telling the story of women political prisoners in Iran. In Neimënster, she was able to benefit from the advice of an Iranian writer friend, Medhi Mousavi.
"Working in Neimënster was a unique experience. I had nothing less than to write and work in this place. In a large, quiet room, I wrote a part of my novel every day (...) Sometimes I was so absorbed in writing that I did not eat for two days! This opportunity was a miracle for me. When I was in prison in Iran, I never thought that I would be able to write in a free country in an art residence. Here I met artists from Lebanon, Belgium, Belarus, Croatia and France. (...) Today, I can say with joy that thanks to your kindness, my novel, on which I worked for three years, has reached its final part. (...) I come from a country where if you are an independent writer, you will be killed or imprisoned. With you, I lived the life of an independent writer. I hope to have that chance again."