Interview for

Alireza Hirsa

11/7/2020

Interviewed By:

Sabrina Kim

Date Interviewed:

Audio Recording of Interview
00:00 / 48:25
Summary

An immigrant from Tehran, Iran, Ali discusses his experience migrating to the United States at a young age. He describes living alone in the States and supporting himself in his teen years, being separated from his mother, looking and feeling different from the American members of his family, and feeling disconnected from any particular faith.

Transcript
Other Interviews

Other interviews of this person can be found below:

Additional Notes
Outline

Narrator: Alireza Hirsa


Summary: An immigrant from Tehran, Iran, Ali discusses his experience migrating to the United States at a young age. He describes living alone in the States and supporting himself in his teen years, being separated from his mother, looking and feeling different from the American members of his family, and feeling disconnected from any particular faith.

Topics: Childhood, Family, Education, Financial Struggles, Language, Cultural Adjustment, Community, Religion, Pandemic


Outline

Section 1: (00:00-12:02)

  • Childhood, Family - Born and raised in Tehran, Iran till age 8. Lived in an affluent family and was close to his mother, but not his father.

  • Education - Sent to a boarding school in the US by his father against his mother’s desires.

Section 2: (12:02-33:34)

  • Family - His mother passed away the year before the interview, but he couldn’t return for political reasons, so he could only be by her side virtually.

  • Financial Struggles - Lived alone from a young age and had to support himself as a teenager.

  • Education - Initially didn’t want to pursue higher education, but eventually became a chiropractor.

  • Education, Language - Excelled in other subjects, but he felt behind in English since it was his second language.

  • Childhood, Cultural Adjustment - Felt a mixture of emotions while coming to the US as a child.

  • Community, Cultural Adjustment - Looked and felt different from other Americans, including his cousins who had “blond hair, blue eyes.”

  • Family - His uncles in the US served as a “support family,” but largely he was alone

Section 3: (33:34-48:13)

  • Religion - His parents were Muslim and taught him about the religion, but he didn’t feel a connection to prayer and faith.

  • Attended Bible study in high school and went to church with his American aunt, but didn’t feel connected to this religion either.

  • He believes religion is a good thing and helps some people do good, but he can uphold values without it.

  • Pandemic - Ambiguity and skepticism of health regulations such as vaccination, social distancing, masking, etc.

  • Religion - Wonders whether other beings in the universe believe in human religions and says we should not judge people based on religion.