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Immigrant student details burdens of life outside U.S.

How often do we hear the phrase “My life isn’t fair” when walking around campus?

How often is the biggest problem in one’s life not getting a text back from his or her crush?

Or more frequently, not knowing what to wear to the next date function?

We’ve all heard it—and although it’s difficult to admit, we have all been victims of those complaints.

I won’t deny it—I’ve complained too. Yet, there is a part of me that always serves as a reminder that as a Villanovan, I am blessed.

Perhaps it’s because I’ve seen the other side of the world. That’s why I would like to invite you to think twice before you agonize over not getting a response from some guy or having to wear a repeated dress on a Friday night.

Let’s take a country like Iran for example. Did you know that if an Iranian woman and a man who aren’t married are caught talking on the streets, they will most likely get approached by the police?

If they fail to provide evidence that they don’t have any relationship, they will often get arrested. I think that’s just a little bit more extreme than “no response” text messages, don’t you think? That’s not the worst of it, though.

If a man and a woman actually happen to be involved together, they will be punished for showing signs of public affection.

Therefore, all relationships are usually handled secretively in order to avoid the dangers of getting caught by the police.

This next point is for all the girls. Don’t you love dressing up for class?

Putting on those Guess jeans and that Juicy blouse gives you that extra confidence as you stride around campus, right? If you go to Iran, though, forget about it.

Women are required to follow a mandatory style of dress which consists of covering their hair with a hijab, wearing a knee-length jacket—which means even an inch higher will get them into trouble—and closed-toed shoes. You probably like adding some flare to your attire with accessories, right?

Well, the only accessories women in Iran can get creative with is the make-up on their faces.

Iranians still find a way to cope and survive though, despite these unjust laws.

They find ways to build intimate relationships privately and after years of wearing a hijab, it has become a part of their lifestyles.

My next point, however, explores the injustice in Iran and in countries much similar to it.

Isn’t it convenient that you can go to the bookstore on campus to get aspirin for your headaches or the nearest CVS for any medication that you desire? This is often a convenience we take for granted.

In Iran and in many other underprivileged countries, the distribution of medicine is risky business.

Most people get their medications through unauthorized systems, which means that they have to pay more money and risk not receiving the proper medication.

If  they don’t have enough money to take this route,  these individuals resort to lower medication with lower quality.

Ultimately, it is the freedoms and liberties we take for granted. The stressful life at Villanova is not easy to handle at times.

However, as Villanovans, we have to remind ourselves that not getting attention from our crush, not having the desired dress or even getting a bad grade on a test does not mean that our lives “are not fair.”

The opportunities we have as students of this community and as citizens of this country are true blessings that we need to take time to appreciate each and every day of our lives.

Life is never easy—I will admit to that. Yet, it certainly is fair. Life is fair as long as we believe that it is.

The best way to realize this is to recognize the larger implications that are currently happening around the world.

The situation in Iran is just a minor example compared to other countries that have citizens suffering under even more difficult circumstances.

So, next time you say “My life isn’t fair,” think twice.

 Yalda Hajavi is a sophomore communication and Global Interdisciplinary Studies major from Brandenton, Fla. She can be reached at yhajavi@villanova.edu. 

 
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