Iran Hiker Sarah Shourd Hopes Arrest Anniversary Brings Fiance's Release

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During Sarah Shourd's days in an Iranian prison, she would look forward to the rare moments when she could meet with her fiance and fellow captive Shane Bauer when they would buoy their spirits by imagining their wedding.

"It was sort of a fun topic to lift our spirits, what my dress would look like, what food we would serve," Shourd told ABC News. "The wedding was our symbol of the day that this would finally be over. I think of our wedding frequently as the day that I know it will really, really be over."

That wedding is still on hold as Bauer and their friend Josh Fattal remain in Iran's notorious Evin Prison. This Sunday will mark the second anniversary of their arrest while hiking near the Iran-Iraq border. The date also comes with the hope that Iran will finally keep its word and keep the July 31 trial date set by Iran's Revolutionary Court.

"The public prosecutor made a statement about the trial and he said that a final decision will be made on this date," Shourd said. "We've never heard something like this from the public prosecutor before, so we have very high hopes. This gives us hope that the trial will be the end of this nightmare."

The court date is the second anniversary of their arrest when the three were hiking on their way to a local tourist spot, the Ahmed Awa waterfall. It is a day that is filled now with "what ifs" for Shourd.

"I've replayed those moments obsessively," says Shroud. "When your life is struck by a wrecking ball, you go back and think what if I woke up later? And what if it got hot, we turned around sooner? What if I didn't look up at the ridge? All the what ifs are endless and they torture you."

The trio had taken a break from their trek through Iraq's mountainous Kurdish area and were resting.

Iran Hiker Sarah Shourd Optimistic As Second Anniversary of Arrest Looms

"Half way through our hike we took a break and had some lunch and had a nap," she recalls. "I clearly remember that we were deciding whether to keep going or to turn around. We were having a discussion about it and I remember I looked up on the ridge and saw a soldier standing there, but I didn't think anything of it. I assumed he was a Kurdish police.

"He was gesturing over his head to come forward towards him. We see this soldier gesturing towards us to walk up to him and that meant walking away from the waterfall area. When we got to him he pointed to the ground. He said Iran and then pointed to the trail we were on and said Iraq."

They didn't realize that it would be their last taste of freedom for a very long time. The soldier turned out to be an Iranian border guard. They were blindfolded, whisked away, and eventually ending up in Evin prison in Tehran under espionage charges.

Shourd, 32, was released on $500,000 bail on humanitarian grounds after 13 months of detainment, but Bauer and Fattal remain inside the prison.

Since her release, Shourd has had to battle the challenges of going from extreme isolation into the public limelight. She suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from her time in captivity but this hasn't stopped her from working fulltime to raise awareness about her friends and the isolated conditions they live in.

They are blindfolded when moved outside of their cells, have no contact with other inmates, are rarely allowed phone calls and little mail. Shourd recalled how Bauer and Fattal would exercise in their cell more than three hours a day.

Iran Hikers Hope Ordeal Ends This Weekend

"They would motivate each other and challenge to do more push ups, sit ups and lifts, both working in their small space and using the frame of the bed," she said.

Shourd was jailed alone and only allowed to see her friends occasionally. The separation from her friends and the near total isolation was difficult to cope with.

She remembers one special day where things weren't so routine. On Jan. 6, 2010, Bauer fashioned a ring out of the strings from his t-shirt and asked Shourd to marry him.

That delicate ring has since fallen apart, but Shourd still holds on to the hope that they will get married as soon as he gets released.

"We have been waiting so long and I'm sure as soon as he gets out we will get married," she said.

The mothers of Bauer and Fattal are also enduring an agonizing wait.

"It's two years and I just can't imagine that this can continue on like this," said Bauer's mother, Cindy Hickey.

Hickey holds on to her optimism very cautiously because other promised trial dates in the past were not honored and her son is still in prison.

"The last trial when they didn't even bring them to court was on May 11. That was the most devastating day for me in the past two years," said Hickey.

Hickey said she will meditate as she awaits word of the trial because her son told her in one quick phone call once that he feels her meditating for him.

Laura Fattal, the mother of Josh Fattal, is hopeful this weekend ends her son's captivity.

The Iranians have said, "they believe that this will be the final hearing, and they have been very purposeful in choosing July 31, the anniversary of their capture," Laura Fattal told ABC News. "Not in a million years do I believe that this coincidence. And I am happy to hear that Ramadan starts on Aug. 1. This is a true time of compassion and mercy."

She is going to be baking chocolate chip cookies for her son this weekend because she knows how much he likes chocolate. She has been hanging on to a birthday card for him with a picture of his hero, Mahatma Gandhi on it.

"I am bringing him his birthday card where ever I have to go to pick him up," she said. "He has spent all of his 28th year in jail, and in tremendous isolation. He's only been allowed three phone calls in two years and one short letter home. I have written him 726 letters. I never ever thought it would go this long. We originally thought they might be questioned for 24 hours. It's been 24 months."