Tahm⁠i⁠neh Dehbozorg⁠i⁠

August 2, 2022

August 2, 2022

“I first came to the United States on the fourth of July, 2015. I was 16 years old. When I stepped out of the airplane, I thought I was dreaming. Then, I saw all the houses with American flags and it looked like the world was telling me ‘you’re here; believe it. Welcome to America.’”

“We had a comfortable life back home, so it was very difficult to start from scratch, but my parents wanted me to have opportunities that I couldn’t have in my country. I knew as a woman in Iran, I could not pursue what I wanted. There are no social freedoms, absolutely no individual rights and liberties. I want more from my life so, although I had this cushy life in Iran, I wanted more. I wanted to study law; attend a prestigious university; be involved in politics; and have the opportunity to meet people from across the world. I wanted to get out of my bubble and the society that constantly limited me.”

“When I first learned about the U.S. Constitution, I was absolutely amazed by how it was designed to protect us, how every branch of the government checked itself, and by the ideas of limited government. I thought it was too good to be true. The Founding Fathers saw the old world, and all its beauties and its problems. It was fascinating to me that this country was founded upon watching the whole world and picking and choosing the best parts of it and not repeating its mistakes.”

“This country was built upon immigration, and I think that diversity creates that individualism, which the Constitution protects. That protection of individual rights is unique to the United States.”

“Although this country is amazing, there’s so much work to do, and I want to help to do it. In college, I would tell other students ‘you have no idea how it feels like; I come from the other side, where the government has all the power over your life. We have free college and free health care, but at what cost? I had no control over my life.’”

“I already had an aptitude for politics and I wanted to learn more. I got involved in a group of like-minded students and with grassroots activism. Then, four years to the day after I stepped foot in this country facing an unknown future, I was standing at the White House shaking hands with the President and the Vice President.”

“Now, I’m in law school and working with a law firm that takes on Constitutional cases dealing with defending individual rights and freedoms. That is what I really want to do.”

“Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Those words are extremely near and dear to my heart, because I believe in every single one of them. For me, the pursuit of happiness was something that I could not have where I was born. I was able to attend two of the best academic institutions in the world, and study the majors I loved. Now I can pursue the career that I have always dreamed of and serve my community.”

“I love the fact that I can be who I am in America. In a traditional society like Iran’s, things are very rigid. You have to abide by the norms and to be part of the collective. It has its benefits, but also, sometimes it makes it difficult to fit in if you don’t think the same way as everyone else around you. Here, I could be myself and I love the fact that I could be with people who were themselves as well.”

“I became a U.S. citizen and I’m an American. It has nothing to do with me being born somewhere else, because being an American is a concept beyond ethnicity. I want to be part of this experiment in the New World that America’s Founding Fathers envisioned.”

“No matter what they tell you, the American dream is not dead. I believe in it.”

Tahmineh Dehbozorgi
Washington, D.C.