Friday, February 18, 2011

On Arriving in Dallas to Take a Shot at the American Dream: And for the first time experiencing religious freedom.

My name is Sina Sabet Sarvestani and I spend most of my week working with other Dallas youth, trying to make a difference in the lives of younger youth in our neighborhoods. Raha Sabet, my first cousin, is imprisoned for doing the exact same thing in Iran.
I serve as a coordinator for the Junior Youth Spiritual Empowerment Program in Dallas, Texas, a Bahá’í-inspired program that empowers junior youth (ages12-15) to take charge of their own spiritual and intellectual growth and to contribute to the betterment of their communities. Currently, we have 16 junior youth groups in different neighborhoods of Dallas; consisting of more than 135 diverse participants. The program has provided an environment of mutual support for the group members and an opportunity for the Dallas youth to take part in social action. Our work has gained the support of Dallas Police and the Dallas Independent School District.
When we fled Iran in 2005, my family and I traveled by train to Turkey and went to the United Nations office in Ankara. After a series of interviews, the U.N. decided to send us to the United States, which was already accepting Iranian Bahá’í religious refugees. I was not fluent in English when we arrived in New York City on September 8, 2006. The next day, we flew to Dallas to take a shot at the American dream and, for the first time, experienced religious freedom.
Read the full story of Junior Youth animator and Baha'i refugee Sina on Project Conversion. -gw

Posted via email from Baha'i Views

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