Finding Peace, Freedom In U.S.

July 4, 2009

Author: Alicia Gallegos

Source: South Bend Tribune


Like any great story about the struggle against adversity and fight to find freedom, Masoud and Shahnaz's journey begins the day they fell in love.

At the time, the Iranian couple knew only that they wanted to marry, even with risk of strict punishment for intermingling their religions.

But the modern day Romeo and Juliet had no idea the depths their devotion would take them, nor that they might eventually find sanctuary in America — namely northwestern Indiana.

"I don't believe I am here," Masoud said in his South Bend home. "I think it's a dream."

Masoud and Shahnaz recently shared their story with The Tribune with the help of translator Elizabeth Zahedi, a volunteer with the American Red Cross St. Joseph County Chapter.