“I always say that I’m a human from earth and my religion is humanity. I was a religious political activist in Iran, about to be executed for leaving Islam. While I fled from jail and death back home, I was also arrested when I arrived at the border between Romania and Hungary.
I like Budapest. The people are nice and the weather is perfect. Finding a job is difficult though. You don’t get any support, but people expect you to live and act as if you’ve always been here. Refugees are like newborn babies. You have to start over completely - learning to live in a new culture and abide by new rules.
It’s really important to learn to speak Hungarian, but most refugees don’t have the time and support to learn it. While life is usually hard, for refugees it’s even harder. I miss my parents back home, but we stay in touch a lot, almost every day.
The biggest challenge for refugees I think is finding a job and having enough money to sustain yourself. Luckily, I have a lot of experience with different things. I’m a social behaviour analyst, so seeing how people interact from culture to culture is very interesting for me. I try to use my abilities as best I can to move forward.
I’m working toward becoming an official translator right now, but have many other plans as well. One of them is to open a restaurant. I think I can connect easily with people from different cultures and one of the things that connect people really well is eating! It creates a bridge between people unlike much else. I’ve noticed Hungarians like sweets. I want to produce Persian cookies.
I’m sure everything will be okay, but I have to take things one step at a time. I have much to learn before I can do all of this.”