Ithacan Immigrant: Yasmin
This week’s Ithacan Immigrant features Yasmin, an Iranian national who moved to Ithaca to study at Cornell. She’s majoring in human biology/pre-med and aspires to becoming a surgeon hoping to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps who was a heart surgeon in her home country. We first met Yasmin when she and her mother came to Catholic Charities seeking assistance in becoming U.S. citizens.
ISP: Why did you come to US?
I came for my education and to have a better future for myself and my children.
ISP: Why did you decide to live in Ithaca?
I got accepted to Cornell and when I came here I realized that it was a very nice city. I love the natural environment and the people. As you know it’s a sanctuary city, it’s a safe place, and the political ideologies match mine.
ISP: What was your first impression of Ithaca?
I would say my first impression was thinking Ithaca was like the movie Twilight because it’s a very natural environment. I remember going to Taughannock Falls and Buttermilk Falls and thinking that. When I first got here, everyday I would walk to class from my dorm and I would cross a bridge and take pictures of the water.
ISP: What is your favorite American food?
I definitely like hot dogs. I didn’t use to eat them but when I came here I realized they are a pretty big thing. I eat them with mustard only.
ISP: Where is your favorite place to shop in Ithaca?
Urban Outfitters – in Iran there was a mandatory hijab that you had to wear and our school uniforms had to be a dark navy; it was very conservative. When I came here people were free to wear whatever they wanted and Urban Outfitters seemed pretty interesting.
ISP: What is the biggest difference between Ithaca and your home town?
Here you have the freedom to voice your opinions and just seeing how people can voice their political opinions inspires me. In Iran, people are very scared. Even if they know the political system is corrupt, they don’t say it because they are scared. There is a fright over there because they have been oppressed and I don’t see that here.