Alaleh Kasraei

Alaleh Kasraei

I want to say thank you, Mom and Dad, for giving me a gift of a lifetime, one that will forever make me who I am. Due to your selflessness and raw ambition, I will forever know what the true meaning of freedom is. Both of you gave up everything that you had ever known, for a dream. A dream to get your babies away from a war which would have been bestowed upon us, like countless others, had you not brought us to the safe haven, I now know to be Canada.

Immigration was not easy, and for a very long time when I looked up at either one of you and asks, “why” with childish incoherence, you would simply look down into my eyes, smile that obsolete smile of yours, and speak in our native tongue, “for a better life, my love.” At the time I found myself thinking “a better life for whom?” Now I understand. I understand that had we not left Iran, one of your children would have been forced into conscription at the tender age of eighteen, while the other would have been treated inhumanely and with prejudice for the remainder of her life, all because of the gender which she was born with.

Since that dramatic move nine years ago, I have watched you both slave away every single day to make ends meet, and not once have I heard either one of you complain. To others, superheroes may live on the big screen, but to me, I have a two of my very own sitting before me, drinking their afternoon tea.

Thank you for teaching me what it means to be strong, to be resilient, but most importantly, thank you for teaching me that there is always a way to make the impossible, possible.

Merci Maman and Baba.