If Mahnoosh meets her ambitions, Canada will one day elect its first Iranian prime minister and perhaps its first woman.

Mahnoosh and her husband, Ali, came to Canada one year ago. Mahnoosh is earning her PhD in human rights and technology law at the University of Ottawa. This lifelong student has been earning top marks while she works and volunteers.

Her father encouraged her to earn her law degree because she was always coming to the defence and others. After she earned her degree, she obtained a Masters in Communications and Law.

Although Mahnooh has big ambitions, life in Canada did not start smoothly.

“The first month was really difficult. We were confused. Finding a good apartment in a good neighbourhood was a challenge. So was getting a social insurance number.”

They find parking confusing nd have earned their share of tickets. “Finding a doctor was tough. When I make an appointment, I sometimes wait more than a month.

“But day by day, it got better. I’m homesick for my parents but we consider Ottawa home now.”

Mahnoosh and Ali have a “nice circle of friends. We go to Britannia Beach. We like to hike. We have friends who live in the country and it’s nice to visit.”

Mahnoosh said she left Iran because there wasn’t the same future for her there.

“You feel more free here and there is such a relief. If you do your best, if you try, you will succeed. You can accumulate more knowledge.”

In addition to studying the intersection of human rights and technology law, Mahnoosh also works as an immigration consultant for other Iranians. She and her husband also volunteer with CCI Ottawa.

Welcome to Ottawa!