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14 June 2004
From Iran to Syston - a refugee's tale
Farhad Motazedian
Farhad is currently working in a pizza shop

Farhad Motazedian is a trained engineer. He was forced to leave his native Iran after being caught up in an anti-government demonstration.

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Mehlui Jason Sibanda of Zimbabwe tells his story
Musicians seeking sanctuary
Iran - country profile
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Leicester Adult Education College
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POLITICAL FACTS

Iran was previously known as Persia - one of the greatest empires of the ancient world

In 1979 Iran became the centre of world attention when the monarchy was overthrown and a unique Islamic republic was declared, headed by Ayatollah Khomeini

Over 50 per cent of the Iranian population is under 25

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Where I came from
I come from Iran. I used to work as an engineering inspector. In 1999 there was a student demonstration all over the country. I was involved in that demo. A number of student were killed and I was persecuted. I had to leave.

Changing countries
I came to Leicester in May 2000. Life wasn't that good. I lived in the International Hotel and had to share a room with two chain smokers for 15 months.

Family left behind
My brother left Iran after me but he is destitute and lives with me. My mother and sister are still there. I worry about them. My father died eight years ago. You know the culture in Iran, girls aren't allowed to work so I send money to them.

Arriving in Leicester
First of all I was refused asylum but that decision was eventually overturned and I was accepted. Life has changed dramatically from being an engineer to an asylum seeker to a refugee.


Starting afresh
I started working in a pizza shop to earn some money. I bought the shop with a partner with backdated income support after I was given my refugee status. But I'd really like to get back to being an engineer. I have applied to Cambridge University to do a Phd but I need to finance myself.

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