Ghadir Goodarzy is an Iranian immigrant who has been attending classes at the Ozark Literacy Council for the last 8 months. Ghadir’s story shows the value of OLC’s diverse community and the cultural skills taught here.
“Around a year ago I decided totally to immigrate to the United States. My son is doing his Ph.D. at the U of A here; the reason I just came to Fayetteville is because of my son…I found here a very beautiful and nice place to live for my age; the climate is very nice and all the expenses are very [low] here. I started coming [to OLC] and I found all the people very nice and helpful. I didn’t expect that a free organization could be all that nice which people are to me.” When Ghadir was asked about learning English, he said: “I’ve known a lot of people from my country who are my age who have come here; they are not able to speak English, so it can be very boring for them. If I have decided to stay in this country, I am supposed to improve my English and, apart from that, I am supposed to get familiar with your traditions, your customs…I usually ask strange questions from teachers here, like, ‘when you go to somebody’s house, are you supposed to buy a present?’ I’m very interested to learn all these customs. I’ve found a lot of friends here; it’s somewhat like an international institute, so that you can be familiar with different customs from different people from different countries, which is very interesting for me.”