Marjan moved to Canada from the Middle East as a young girl. She returned two years ago to discover a magical place. But she suffers seeing the destruction. “It hurts.”
Name: Marjan Aletomeh
Birthplace: Tehran, Iran
Occupation: I have a degree in criminology, and I work in retail banking. I plan to become a financial advisor.
I recently moved to Toronto. I had lived in Vancouver for almost 19 years but felt I needed to experience another city. So I packed my belongings and moved across Canada, and am now living in downtown Toronto.
Languages: Farsi, English
Currently reading: “The Untethered Soul,” by Michael A. Singer, and “1Q84,” by Haruki Murakami
What is your most memorable international experience?
My family and I migrated to Canada when I was 9 years old. We moved to Vancouver, Canada from Iran. It was a huge change and culture shock for me. But I would have to say that going back to visit Iran after 18 years would be my most memorable international experience.
How did you become interested in international affairs?
My interest has always been there, as long as I can remember. Growing up, my passion was to be a lawyer. I think deep down I want to be a humanitarian. And because of that I have always been drawn to law and international politics. Also, my background and culture are heavily entrenched in international affairs. If you walk down the streets of Tehran, you can speak about politics, international affairs to any average Joe. It is truly beautiful how the minds of Iranian people work.
What international issue is of greatest interest to you today? Why?
I am from the Middle East, and it burns my soul so deep knowing that that part of the world is heavily targeted.
I didn’t really realize the depth of the issues until I visited Iran myself two years ago. Ever since my family and I moved to Canada, I had not had the chance to go back for a visit until the summer of 2014. To see everything with my own eyes was an experience and feeling I will never forget.
To me the Middle East is a magical place with centuries of history. To see the destruction it is going through is really tough, and it hurts.