Country of origin: Iran
Sahar’s name means early, positive, and energetic in Farsi. Admittedly, no other name could have described her more accurately. Before she came to the Netherlands, however, the opposite held truth. “God really held a mirror up to me”, Sahar gladly tells.
How does life in the Netherlands differ from life in Iran?
I was the kind of girl that took taxis instead of the bus and that didn’t have to worry about price tags. I never learned to deal with money since my family was quite rich. I wasn’t necessarily the most positive or loving individual on earth.
Now, after being seven years in the Netherlands, I became a completely different person. I converted to Christianity. God helped me in achieving changing myself. Today, I’m genuinely happy and more open toward other people. I get in touch with everybody and like every single one of them.
What would you advice others, knowing what you know now?
Seize the day, at all times. Help people in achieving happiness. Share everything you live. Also, make sure to give enough space to others that make mistakes. Know we are all different and life can be hard.
Where does ‘seizing the day’ manifests itself in for you?
Well, my weekly schedules are always busy because of all the lovely things I do. For instance, I teach youngsters about refugee related matters in the capacity of a project advisor for VluchtelingenWerk. I tell them about my experiences after which they can ask questions. Also, I take Dutch and English courses and I’m currently studying for becoming a dental assistant.
I am also fond of dancing. Ballet, hip hop, whatever. When I find it hard to stay positive or to actually ‘seize the day’, I dance. It helps me to shift focus.
Would you say you can realize your dreams in the Netherlands?
I already did! I always wanted to study and ride bikes with my little brother, here in the Netherlands. In regards to my other dreams: I don’t know yet. I try my very best, but at the same time I realize that God already has a plan for me. He knows what is good for me.
Disclaimer: this interview was conducted in Dutch and has been translated and rewritten to English.