Bahá’ís are not allowed to study in Iran, so when I was 19, my brother and I left to study in India. Soon afterwards, the revolution took place in Iran, which meant that it became hard for people to travel in and out of the country. My father was so worried about being separated from us that he left everything behind and brought the rest of the family to live in India too.
One day, soon after we arrived, I saw a boy passing my uncle’s house and I asked my cousin who he was, because he was so good-looking. Later, we went to visit the family. The boy was so shy that at first he didn’t look at me, but when he finally did, our love story began. After that, he used to come to my parents’ house to play chess with my brother, but I knew that was just his excuse to visit me. We never talked but everyone knew we were in love, and within a month, we were engaged, and then married.
My husband and I stayed in India for six years. When I look back, I love the things that I learned and experienced there. You see poverty, and because you can’t have everything that you ask for, you enjoy life more and you’re happy for what you have. It’s something that you cannot experience here in Australia because anything you want, you can get, which takes away the joy of having it.
Because we could never get citizenship in India and we couldn’t go back to Iran, the UN allowed us to come to Australia. We went first to Tasmania, as the rest of my family had already settled there. We were happy there, but it was too cold, so we eventually moved to Geelong, where my husband got his Masters. Later, we moved again, to Townsville, so that he could get his PhD in Education. We lived there for 15 years.
Finally, when my kids grew up, they wanted to move to Brisbane, and I told my husband I wanted to move with them. But I knew I couldn’t ask him to come with me, because of the work he’s doing – he’s a big part of Townsville. He’s a cross-cultural trainer. He’s a sculptor. He’s a coordinator of the Intercultural Centre. And he’s the organiser of the Townsville Cultural Festival, which is the biggest festival in Queensland. He’s given so much to the community and everyone knows him.
So for 12 years now, I’ve been in Brisbane and he’s been based in Townsville. It’s crazy. He goes back and forth – that’s our life. But I don’t mind it. Before coming here, I had never been able to discover my talents or capacity, as I was always busy with the kids and with supporting my husband. But I feel like I found myself here. I started working and I’ve become independent. Six years ago, I became a Cultural Support worker with MDA, and I’m now a Community Engagement worker.
I share my life story with my clients, and help them as much as I can to feel welcome in Australia. I think they will remember this help forever. That’s why I love this job, because it gives me an opportunity to be of service.
At this time of my life, I couldn’t actually ask for anything other than what I have.
If you would like to support New Humans of Australia, please visit: https://www.patreon.com/newhumansofaustralia
#storiesnotstereotypes #inspiration #migrants #refugees #australia #iran #bahai #brisbane #townsville
If you would like to support New Humans of Australia, please visit: https://www.patreon.com/newhumansofaustralia 🙂
Beautiful story! I would like to know though how she fell in love without talking to the boy first?
Thanks for sharing your story, regards a Tasmanian who loves the cold! Lol
Such a great message in your story, Lida. Thank you for sharing it.
Thanks for sharing Lida. Given the opportunity, you and your family are making a great contribution.
Thanks for sharing Lida … and for the great work you do with MDA.
Good luck to you and your family. I hope your successes and community evolvement continues. ????
Wow, what a beautiful story. Thanks for sharing this with us x
So glad you came to Australia, your whole family has enriched our community!
you have a beautiful understanding of gratitude, thanks for sharing!
Thank you for sharing your story and for the contributions you and your husband have made.
Glad you love Brisbane how lucky are we to have you. A beautiful story
So much of the debate around immigrants and refugees coming to Australia revolves around what they will ‘take’ from us, how much it will ‘cost’ us. We should really be thinking of the opportunities they create in Australia, for us and for them, and how much they give to our communities.
Another great NHoA story Marcia Stillwell Caroline M Mussared . How true, “anything you want, you can get, which takes away the joy of having it”
I love how you said that you appreciate the smaller things that you have as opposed to having everything, totally agree with you!
I hope that the time you spent in Geelong, (where I have lived for the past 32 years) was a time of happiness.
I have friends who are Bahai here in Perth, and there is a beautiful Temple here also.
One of Lida and Favardin’s daughters has been an inspirational teacher for two of my children and many more besides. How fate brings us all together 🙂 Thanks for sharing Lida
I’m so glad your experience has been positive and you seem to have managed to maintain freedom of choice in your life but your comments about poverty suggest you think there is none in Australia – perhaps relative to India it is much less – but there are certainly families in Australia whose life choices are limited by poverty, sometime generational.
One of the nicest gentleman I have ever met was a man from Iran who was a Baha’i.
Love this story , I’ve heard so much of your story through FD n through your sons poetry , I didn’t realise one time that tears are pouring in my cheeks when he shared a poetry once , I hope that the children of Australia does realise how lucky they are that they are born here one of the most beautiful place on earth
One of the most adorable and contributory Famillies I have ever known xxx
Lida this is beautiful!!! Such a wonderful woman and so much strength! Xx
Well done! I thought i recognised you from a video that MDA show in their volunteer training. You and your husband have achieved so much
Ruth Connors, I saw you liked one of the other stories in this series and wondered if you had seen this one?