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Coming to America

POSTED November 4, 2011 8:52 p.m.

My wife and I had many serious discussions when we considered emigrating to the USA from Iran. We would leave behind family, friends and my position as a millwright. We would have to learn about a different culture and acquire a new language.

One reason we decided to leave Iran was because of the repressive government. Most people in Iran — from any religion — are very unhappy with their government.

We felt that the overall quality of education would be better for our children in America. Also, sometimes the schools in Iran try to persuade my children to become Islamic. As Christians, this made my wife and I very uncomfortable.

Even after graduation from high school or college, it was often difficult to get good positions in Iran because the prejudice against Christians was so strong. Christians are not even allowed to have government jobs.

In 2007, we applied for refuge in America. We settled in Turlock in 2009, and found ourselves in the middle of a severe recession. Learning English has been a challenge, and not working even more so. Regardless, my wife and I still believe we made the right choice to bring our family to America.

— Gelaidin Younan

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