Canada is home ... 
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I'm Mojgan Nemati and I'm the Web Developer at the Web Team and part of Public Affairs and Communications.

I am from Iran and from Tehran the Capital.

I am from a generation that we experienced the revolution. And we went through 8 years of war and we experienced sanctions, and many difficult moments in our lives.

Mojgan Nemati
Mojgan Nemati is a Web Developer at UHN who came to Canada from Iran. (Photo: UHN)

You feel that you have no hope. I think most immigrants decide to move because they're hoping to have a better future for their next generations and also kind of give themselves more opportunities in life, while we still value what we had back then and where we came from.

On May 9th 2004 at around 4:30 – 5:00 PM, we landed and we started the journey.

Being an immigrant is not easy. You just start from scratch when you come to Canada.

Mojgan and Ali in Iran
Mojgan and her husband left Iran 13 years ago, just a few days after this photo was taken. (Photo: Mojgan Nemati)

And there are many aspects: you have to be humble enough to admit your weaknesses and accept your weaknesses and try to strengthen your weaknesses.

There are many things that you need to fight for. First of all, you need to get familiar with the new culture, with the new language and with everything new. You need to just adapt and just adjust yourself.

Move away from what you used to be, but just look ahead and see what you can be.

mojgan multiculture chritstmas party
From right to left: Mojgan; her husband, Ali; and their son, Arash Sam, during their Canadian Citizenship Ceremony in January 2008. (Photo: Mojgan Nemati)

Five years ago, I started at UHN. I am as excited as I was the first day that I started. UHN means, just like, family. You start here, and you don't feel – and I believe that's the feeling that most of the employees have here – you don't feel that you are just doing a job.

 A year before I joined, I lost my grandmother and I had this special connection with my grandmother. And I lost her because she was fighting with cancer for a year or so. She went through a very difficult time and at the same time I always regretted that I couldn't go back and meet her. I really wish I could just go and meet her for the last time.

You know every time I think about those days it just makes me so emotional. I decided that you know I needed to contribute, I need to do something.

Maybe I never forgive myself that I never got the chance to go back and see my grandmother, but it gives me a good feeling that when I'm working at UHN that I'm doing something – even very small – for a population that my family went through the same thing.

Canada means home. Going to another country and starting from scratch - it takes its own time to become your home. 

You shouldn't go back and see what you used to be. Just decide what you're going to be here and how you can contribute to this country. How you can be part of this.

I discovered a lot of unknown aspects of myself, to be honest. I found that you can be a very strong person when you are facing unknown. And you can just discover yourself. It's that nothing is impossible. You can overcome every challenge that you face.

UHN Home, where we're telling stories to celebrate Canada's 150th birthday. Every week, we'll tell you the stories of people who came to Canada from all around the world to work at the nation's largest research hospital: the University Health Network.

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