Fleeing Iran as a teenager was easier than parenting
Adel escaped religious persecution in Iran as a teenager. He talks with his wife Maxine and daughter Carmel about language, whakapapa, plane rides, and the privilege of putting art first.
“You bring this really super unique child to this world. It was easy to think that she would be just one in the planet. And so it’s been both a source of joy and sadness not to be able to fit into particular modes of ethnicity and to see her at nearly 20, every year, she’s getting closer to working that out, her identity. That’s an amazing journey.”
Adel and Maxine got together after he saw her in a pamphlet (after seeing her at a Baháʼí event years prior) and wrote to the Baháʼí leaders to get her contact details. They wrote hundreds of letters to each other before they met in real life where on the same first date Adel proposed. Three months later they were married.
“I'm trying to do things now that are going to be helpful for our descendants in like 200 years"
“The thing that I don’t agree with is that Māori have to have a last name, that is wrong”.
Those involved say a significant amount of work has gone into returning these ancestors.