Story of Feri & Sara
After the Iranian revolution, my family escaped Iran since my grandfather was labeled an 'enemy of the regime.' We had to leave the country after being arrested and died in custody, so my mother started planning our escape. We wanted to immigrate to the United States. However, we first traveled through Istanbul, Turkey, where we lived in a house with other Iranian refugees. I was 3, and when I asked my mother in later years how she felt to be a refugee at that time, her words resonated as she said 'hopeless.' Every day, each refugee would habitually wake up, check their immigration status and find a way to make it through another day.
As it was challenging to get to the US from Turkey, my mother decided to try for residency in Canada, and in 9 months, we got approval to move there. The nine months of waiting were difficult; it was uncertain, we struggled with finances, and we had no idea about the future's certainty. On reaching Canada, we got our residency and moved on to the next leg of our journey to enter the US. We arrived in California in November 1985 and immediately filed for political asylum. 11 years later, we became US citizens.
As I grew up and saw the turn in American politics under Trump administration, I decided not to be a bystander anymore. I sought to share my story to humanize the experience of refugees who seek a better life in this great country. This situation is beyond politics, but simply about being human, showing compassion, and giving refugees a safe place and hope to live a regular happy life.
My grandfather once told my mother, "Remember, the world was not created with borders. Man created these borders."