A Lot More Possibility
Immigrated from Iran
"Here there is so much more tolerance and acceptance of different religions and so much freedom."
Coming from Tehran, Iran to Los Angeles, California was a big change for Shazi Shabatian. At the time she immigrated, it was 1978 and the Iranian government was being overthrown by the Islamic government. Shazi and her family were part of a Jewish minority and didn’t feel safe in her mostly Muslim country. She got on a plane along with her mother and siblings and flew to Los Angeles.
“I was shocked by the freedom of the people and the relaxed atmosphere” Shazi commented, explaining about arriving to Los Angeles. “Here there is so much more tolerance and acceptance of different religions and so much freedom” she told me. “I came from a very conservative country,” she explained. The difference between Iran and Los Angeles was immense. “I can imagine that there is no way that what I can do here as a woman would have been okay in Iran” she explained. Coming to the United States had opened a lot of opportunities for Shazi. As she says, “There is a lot more possibility and opportunity here.” After talking more about how life has changed, I asked Shazi if she would ever want to go back and visit her home country. She replied by saying, “I would love to go back but I am afraid to go back because it still doesn’t feel safe. I need to be in a place that is more progressive and modern.” Since she came to the United States, she has never been back to Iran.