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I was born and raised in an Iranian province by an Iranian father and European mother. I was studying in Europe at the time of the 1979 Revolution, and obtained my degrees in economics, history and political science.
My mother’s country, a proud European democracy, harbouring many faiths and languages, unconditionally accepted me among its citizens. I became a pupil of secular democracy, learning to consider things from different perspectives, in peace and security. For me, at first, it was hard to recognise and admit my own cultural differences, prejudices, and knee-jerk reactions. Now, it is a pleasure for me to listen to others’ opinions, express mine and try to find common ground.For me, being Westernised Iranian does not mean destroying the Iranian identity in favour of an allegedly superior Western one. It means blending the two. Democracy is a matter of concern to each and everyone.I recognise the failings of the Western world, including the excesses of capitalism and those living only for the relentless pursuit of gain, but I can at least object to that through the ballot box, or loudly voice it; things impossible in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
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