We are hearing stories every day about the Syrian refugees. Americans are afraid to let them in the country because of terrorism. However, where are the stories about refugees contributing and finding success?
I work with a Toronto man who was an Iranian refugee in the 1980s. He went to school, graduated from Oxford and is now an engineer.
How did a Toronto man Mehdi Toozhy survive as a Iranian refugee?
How does a little boy find his way to safety in a refugee camp?
Where does one get the drive to keep pushing themselves forward?
As a little boy, Mehdi Toozhy had to answer these questions.
Today, Mehdi is a successful engineer however 30 years ago, he was a frightened little boy in a refugee camp.
Mehdi was born to loving parents in Iran but he saw war and terrorism around him. He knew he needed to find a way out. He knew education was his only way out. He worked hard and at 13, approached his parents to ask if he could leave.
They were scared but knew Mehdi was right.
At the age of 13, Mehdi’s parents put him on a train and he left home on a journey into nowhere.
Mehdi landed in Germany and worked to make money and finally went to school in Denmark. He struggled day and night, working and studying. He wanted to be an engineer. Some said it would work but others would put him down.
Mehdi kept on working and trying. He knew we would succeed.
In the end, he was right. Mehdi Toozhy graduated from Oxford with an engineering degree. This is the story of the American spirit. It resides in all of us. Whether we are born in Iran or Indiana, the American Spirit can help overcome any fear or doubt.
Currently he is talking about his story and helping others in his book, Keys to Success at School and Beyond.