Marzi – from Iran with love

As a young woman, Marzi felt the sting of being restricted by strong laws imposed by the government of her homeland, Iran. Some laws limit women especially harshly. Determined to spread her wings, Marzi studied hard, got an academic paper published and was awarded a scholarship to undertake her PhD at the University of Tasmania

It was by chance that Marzi connected with A Fairer World and soon after making contact, decided to train to become a human ‘book’ in the Hobart Human Library.

“I find these projects very valuable and constructive for society. I like the idea of informing people through face-to-face communication.”

In her story, Marzi describes the discrimination that she has faced in her life, both in Iran and since arriving in Australia.

“I’m from Iran, and I found out that people in Tasmania don’t know much about my country and my culture… for me, talking about my country and our culture is really fulfilling. It makes me happy to share my lived experiences with them.”

Marzi can find positivity in every situation – it’s a skill that has built her resilience. She says that telling her story in the Hobart Human Library is an empowering experience, particularly because it feels like such a safe way to share her experiences.

“I like seeing the reactions in people faces, their expressions and the look in their eyes when listening to my story. They show sympathy, support and understanding this way.”

Recently, Marzi was also a part of Women’s Business – a project which brings together Tasmanian women from diverse cultural backgrounds to co-create public shows that celebrate cultural diversity. The women share their cultures through fashion, dance, song and storytelling. Growing up with her family in the Iranian countryside, dance and music were important to the way that Marzi and her family connected and practiced traditions. Being able to share that with others was an opportunity that she didn’t want to miss.

“I like being representative of my culture. The Women’s Business show is full of music and dance which are very important parts of our culture. It is very satisfying and fulfilling when you demonstrate your culture and tradition to other people from different backgrounds.”

Being part of a multicultural group was an enriching experience for Marzi. Collaborating with other culturally diverse women and hearing about their cultures and experiences was particularly powerful.

“I am so comfortable to be on stage and it is so exciting for me. When the beautiful fashion and dances are combined with biographical stories you can see the power of women who went through tough moments in their life and now, they can dance regardless of all those hard experiences. It is like a butterfly coming out of a cocoon.”

Women’s Business has one more show scheduled for 2021 and Marzi will be there, sharing her culture with dance, fashion and storytelling. If you have the opportunity to attend, don’t miss it. As Marzi says:

“Everyone has a story to share. If we listen carefully to them, we will be able to learn from them and grow.”

In the meantime, Marzi continues to share her story as a human ‘book’ in the Hobart Human Library alongside her PhD studies.

Women’s Business is a program delivered by A Fairer World in partnership with Students Against Racism. Follow the Women’s Business Facebook page for updates and information about the upcoming show.

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