HomeNewsIranians living in Nanaimo gather to celebrate homeland, freedom, voicing frustrations

Iranians living in Nanaimo gather to celebrate homeland, freedom, voicing frustrations

Every Saturday afternoon members of the Iranian Canadian Society of Vancouver Island Facebook group gather in Nanaimo.

For Iranian immigrants on Vancouver Island, the gathering can be a way to find solidarity, as well as voice anger and frustration.

The most recent gathering was at the Terminal Avenue and Commercial Street Intersection.

Hydrogeologist and Iranian immigrant Shiva Farjadian and her son, Nikan Rahnama attend the gatherings together.

“As a woman, I moved to Canada in 2014, but I faced a lot of inequality in school, in society, at work,” said Farjadian. “And all of these things actually pushed me to go. I don’t have any family members here, I have my son here and we are very alone. But I’m very happy and satisfied because I believe that as a single mom in Iran, I was vulnerable and weak and I couldn’t do anything. But here I think that I’m very appreciated. I have this opportunity to live and work here in peace, but still my heart is in Iran and with all my people there.”

- Advertisement -

The recent time change had them rushing to attend the gathering on time.

“[My son’s] very difficult for me to separate him from the computer, and he was in a rush more than me. He told me, yeah, ‘we should go, we should go. My cousin in Iran can’t go on the street and protest safely. They may get killed’— because we were reading the news that some of the kids got killed, got shot. ‘I feel that I’m representative of them. I’m very lucky to be in a safe place. The only thing that I can do is just yell here.’ And I was saying okay, he’s very smart and he feels that it’s his responsibility and he’s not taking any risk here to come and show his same party. And also his anger and his frustration in a very safe environment and receiving a lot of support because we feel a bit— as immigrants— lonely too. Sometimes when we get together and we cry together and we protest together, it helps us to release the pressure too in our personal aspects.”

Back in September Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Kurd, was killed shortly after being arrested by ‘morality police’ for not wearing a hijab correctly. Groups of Iranians gathered across Canada to voice their outrage.

“It was big and raised awareness of how the things have been taken from us, especially the women in Iran after the Islamic Revolution and how fragile our freedom can be. And that moment, the necessity of taking action, we felt strongly and people got together.”

Farjadian says the slogan for these gatherings in Nanaimo is ‘Woman, Life, Freedom’ because they believe ‘that society wouldn’t be free until there were women in that society that are free.’

- Advertisment -
- Advertisment -
- Advertisement -

Continue Reading