Roshie was just 18 months old when she moved from Iran to England with her family, so that her father could pursue his doctoral degree. In the midst of her formative years in England, the Shah of Iran was overthrown and her homeland was tumultuous with revolution. Following the Iranian Revolution of 1979, new government policies led to the systematic persecution of non-Muslim religious minorities. As a result, many Iranians were tortured and imprisoned. Thousands lost their jobs, their rights to assemble and worship, access to education, and many other basic human rights. The Iranian government sponsorship for her father’s graduate education was revoked due to his practice of the Bahá’í Faith.

Roshie’s family was unable to return to Iran due to the ongoing religious discrimination and persecution, so their family was allowed refugee status to the United States. This year marks the 30thanniversary of her family’s move to the U.S. Throughout the years, Roshie’s parents worked hard to adapt to a new culture and build a new future, pursuing careers and educating their three children. Roshie is now a successfully practicing optometrist in Texas.

Symbolic of her appreciation for the life that her family has built here and the sacrifices they’ve made along the way, Roshie chose a gold and diamond ring given to her by her parents as her GEM. Roshie’s GEM is her token and reminder of both the difficulties and triumphs that come with starting anew. 

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