Mehdy Ghannad of The Hostel Life shares with us the journey his father took from Iran in order to pursue the American Dream and how he is now pursuing his own American Dream.
What is the American Dream? The first person that comes to mind in pursuit of my answer is my father.
My father immigrated to the United States in 1965 at age of 21 from Tehran, Iran with only two hundred dollars to his name. To my own surprise I only recently asked him this question, “Dad why did you take such a leap of faith with hardly any money in your bank account?” Before he could answer the question, my father had to put everything in context for me. In doing so, he had to begin by explaining the environment that he lived in at the time in Iran.
He began by saying, “Iran was a very different place than it is now. “ The government of Iran in the 1960’s was a constitutional monarchy and it had strong relationships with the western world. Iran was even seen as a top travel destination spot for many Europeans and Americans, because of its rich Persian history and for the skiing! Yes, Iran has pretty darn good skiing. However the education system was quite different than it was in the western world, more specifically different than in the United States (US).
Iran, much like the US has a college entrance exam, which helps determine which schools you can be accepted to. However, in Iran depending on what you scored, also determines what you could study. In addition to this, only 10% of applicants were admitted to Universities. This was a result of the lack of higher education offered after high school. For example, let’s say that you did score high marks on your exam; chances are that your career path will now be set for you. You were going to medical school to become a doctor IF space was available.
My father then got back to the answer of my original question. He said, “Son, the main reason I took that leap of faith, and came to America, was so I could figure out what I wanted to do and most importantly what I wanted to be”.