The Iranian Community in Canada

Iranian nationals started to emigrate to Canada in significant numbers in the late seventies. They were mostly students or wealthy retired individuals wishing to live in peace. After the 1979-1982 revolution, in the early eighties, the influx of political refugees started arriving in Canada, mostly to the major cities. They were politicized, opinionated, hardworking, eager to learn and adopt into their new homeland. The total number of Iranians in Canada prior to 1979 was less than 250. This number dramatically changed in later years where by mid 80s there were 5000 and according to Statistic Canada the population increased to 60,000 by mid 90s.

Among the characteristics of this newly formed immigrant community is their high rate of education. Many of the Iranian Immigrants born outside of Canada have at least completed their high school education. The Iranian Community is the second most educated immigrant community in Canada after the Germans.

After a decade of residing in Canada, the community has become very prosperous. The Iranian entrepreneurs and professionals respected by their peers. To name a few, the Ghermezian brothers who built the Edmonton Mall and Khosroshahi Family who own Future Shop. For further information look into www.payvand.com

The Afghan Community in Canada

Iran and Afghanistan were part of a same country for almost 2000 years. The Partian Dynasty in pre-Islamic Persian history originated from the present Afghanistan. The greatest Persian poets and writers such as Roudaki (the father of Persian Poetry), Mowlavi (the Hegel of the East) and Avecena (Philosopher-Physician) are from present day Afghanistan. The legendary cities of Samarkand and Bokhara are the two cities whose names and eloquence are intertwined with the mystique of the greatest Persian literature.

Today, there are approximately 15,000 Afghans in Canada.. They came to Canada after the Russian invasion into Afghanistan in the mid 1980s. There are almost 3 million Afghan refugees in Iran and Pakistan. Their arrival to Canada has subsided in recent years. They mostly speak Dari (Persian) or Pushtu. Afghanistan consists of several ethnic communities such as Hizare, Tajik, Uzbek, Barbar, Patan and Turkmen.

The Afghans in Canada are a solemn and hard working group. They tend to take care of each other during difficult times. Afghans are law-abiding people and the crime rate among them is very low. They are generally deeply religious people and are greatly troubled by the destruction and bloodshed in their motherland.

The Kurdish Community in Canada

The Kurdish people are the largest populous ethnicity in the world without a country. In fact, the Kurdish people are scattered among 5 countries (Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Syria and Azerbaijan) in each of which they are considered minorities. History is full of the Kurdish people’s struggle for equal rights and independence from their respective countries. These demands have almost constantly been welcomed with cruelty by respective established governments.

There are approximately 10,000 to 15,000 Kurdish immigrants in Canada. The Kurdish community in Canada is divided between Turkish, Iraqi/Syrian and Iranian Kurds. They primarily speak different languages such as Surani (Iraq, Turkey), Kermanji (Iran, Iraq) and Zaza (Syria, Turkey) Kurdish.

The Kurdish community is highly politicized. They actively participate in meetings and rallies signifying their identity and their struggle for freedom. The majority of the Kurdish people is active in entrepreneurial businesses.

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