Moments of Freedom

by Javad M.Parsa

I never imagined myself as one of these thousands of Iranians to have left their homeland, but I had to flee Iran in 2009. The government had issued an arrest warrant for me, after my images of the Iranian uprising of that year had been published abroad. In my new life in Norway I have met up with many fellow Iranian immigrants, and decided for this project to document aspects of their lives. They all have different reasons for having left their mother country. But everyone I spoke to hoped that one day they could return to Iran—but to an Iran where they were allowed to vote in truly democratic elections, speak freely, dress the way they wanted to, and choose their own religion and beliefs.
 
Mina Torabzadegan (35) lives with her boyfriend and her daughter Diana (9). She is an active feminist and believes sharia laws in Iran have legalized violence against women. Mina was forced to leave Iran two years ago, and came to Norway hoping to continue the struggle against the Iranian regime, and laws that oppress women.
 
 
Ario Fard (46) and his wife Loan Dang Fard (35) enjoy the sunshine outside their home. Ario, an IT manager, came to Norway in 1991, and Loan, a school teacher, in 1980. They have a nine-year-old daughter. Their hope is for health and a good life for their children.
 
 
Iranian children living in Oslo relax, playing games on their mobile phones.
 
 
Behrouz has lived in Norway for 12 years. He works in an Iranian shop in Oslo. The flag on the counter is that of pre-Revolutionary Iran.
 
 
Susanne and her two daughters, Alcyone (two-and-a-half months) and Zoe Tara (11), in the children’s room, at home in Oslo. Susanne is German, but her boyfriend is Iranian.
 
 
Ario Fard (46) and his wife Loan Dang Fard (35) enjoy a day in the countryside, with their nine-year-old daughter Victoria. Ario, an IT manager, came to Norway in 1991, and Loan, a school teacher, in 1980. Their hope is for health and a good life for their children.
 
 
Fazel has spent the last five years in a reception center, waiting for his application to be processed. He says it feels like he is living in a prison, and is being treated like an animal. Fazel’s hope is to get a positive answer from the Norwegian immigration authorities
 
 
 
Soheila prepares for her wedding. She was born in Kurdistan, but grew up in Norway. Soheila has never been to Iran, but hope that she can visit her family there one day.
 
 
Farshad and Pega are Buddhists. They are new to Norway and hope to learn the language and find work, but also that they can one day live with their families in Iran.
 
 
Mustafa and his family celebrate Norway’s National Day, on 17 May. After two years of living in Norway, Mustafa is becoming familiar with the culture and language. He is happy that his children will grow up in a free and democratic country.