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Title

Afsaneh Nozari

Date

Description

Afsaneh Nozari and her family fled Iran after the Shah was overthrown. After enduring several hardships, she made it to the United States and began a new life there.

Duration

0:04:06

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. Please contact Immigration History Research Center staff for permissions not covered by this Creative Commons license.

Transcription

Hello my name is Afsaneh, I am from Iran and 26 years ago, I started a journey with my family to come to America.

It all started when the king, known as the Shah, got rolled out by a religious leader who ruled according to the laws of Islam. After the regime change in Iran, everyone was forced under a system that was unfair and my family and I just wanted to escape from Iran.

My mom and dad were the first ones to get a visa out here and after they settled, they requested a green card for me, my sister and two brothers. Although we all made it here we all had completely different experiences because we came at different times. I came with one of my sisters but leaving Iran wasn't too difficult for me because although we always made the best of what we had, the corrupt government system was still a huge disadvantage to living a healthy life. Especially being a woman, I wouldn't have the rights I have out here back home, I wouldn't have the chance at an education or freedom. Despite the fact I was leaving friends and my family behind, I knew that wherever my family was, everything would be ok and I also knew I would have a better life in America with more opportunities and a brighter future. So as soon as I got that green card, I felt like I won the lottery. However before I actually got to America, I had to spend eight months in Pakistan, Karachi, in horrible conditions. To say the least, let’s just say we didn't have clean water, good food or a fridge, but we managed to make it work in hopes to get our visa which we did, and shortly after so did the rest of my siblings.

When I got here, I didn't speak any English so me and my sisters all took classes, learned with other immigrants and also made friends. I was pleasantly surprised of how nice the people were; they never made fun of me and always tried to find a way to understand what I was saying. After learning English I felt pressured to fall in love and get married because I was 27 when I came here, and in our culture at that time I was late for that aspect of my life. I also knew I wanted kids and would be proud to raise them in a land of opportunities. Eventually, I found my husband, got married had two kids, traveled and enjoyed the freedom I knew I wouldn't have if I didn't go through what I did and leave behind what I had to. I’m very happy to say it was all worth it.

Thank you so much.