My parents immigrated to Canada in 1986 – I was only one at the time. They left everything behind in Iran because they believed Canada would give their children a better life and more opportunities. My father tells me that when we landed in Montreal, we only had two suitcases and $50 to our names. My parents worked very hard to build a new life for us in Canada. As new immigrants and then Canadian citizens, they made sure to integrate themselves into Canadian society, and they instilled in my sister and I the importance of respecting and living by our Canadian values.
My father comes from a farming family and he is an electrician, working daily with his hands. After staying at home to raise her two daughters, my mother now gives back to the community by working at a charity for isolated senior citizens. My younger sister is an aerospace engineer. My wonderful husband Wayne teaches statistics at Carleton University.
My parents taught me that the road to success comes through hard work, determination and sacrifice. We have certainly come a long way from where we started in 1986, but I will never forget our humble beginnings.