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Home » Iran from a Different Lens: Maryam Ghadiri at TEDxPurdueU (Transcript)

Iran from a Different Lens: Maryam Ghadiri at TEDxPurdueU (Transcript)

Maryam Ghadiri at TEDxPurdueU


My story started on April 7, 2012 when my husband and I were all packed and ready to come to the US.

I was so happy, I was so excited, I heard a lot about this amazing country: land of opportunity, land of freedom and equality.

All we had was two suitcases. One suitcase full of hope, passion, and dream for a better future, and a second suitcase full of photos, books, souvenirs, anything that reminded us of our motherland.

We came to the U.S. from Iran, a country in the Middle East that seemed to be quite well-covered in Western media. And according to the same media I came from a country that is all desert. Nothing grows there, nothing. No precipitation, no rain; let alone snow. Modernity and technology do not make any sense, they do not exist, even their terminology.

There are good things about it, though. We have no traffic, as, of course, we go around on camels. And a woman like me, we have zero rights, covered from head to toes. No education, no social life, culturally and religiously oppressed.

All the pictures you just saw are photos from an exhibition called “Iran beyond Politics”, or (Farsi). A 12-day display that attracted more than 600 visitors.

And today, I’m here on this stage to share with you what motivated me to curate this work and what is the idea behind this exhibition.

We came to Purdue University to start our graduate studies, and I ended up working in one of the best labs. Everything seemed good and to be going according to plan.

But one day, I noticed that something was changing, actually something in me was changing. That moment, I started the first chapter of this story. I realized that when I introduced myself as an Iranian, I received three main reactions.

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