Five years ago, Iman Nasseri would not have been able to point out Hawaii on a map.

Now, the 32-year-old Iranian citizen calls Honolulu home and is probably not going to move back anytime soon.

He and his wife, Maryam “Saloome” Asghari, said they are grateful their first move from their home country was to Hawaii.

“People were under much more economic pressure,” Nasseri said, recalling their first visit back to Iran last year. “And in terms of social, we could feel that pressure on everyone in the streets, on our family and our friends.”

Nasseri is earning his doctorate in energy economic research at the University of Hawaii.

Listen to his story:

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About the Author

  • Alana Hong
    Born and raised in Honolulu, Alana Hong has been scuba diving since age 5. She enjoys traveling, but always finds herself back in the islands she will forever call home. She currently works in Hawaii's film industry on various projects, most recently in the prop department on "Last Resort." On the weekends she can be found in the water with her camera and fins or brainstorming ideas with her creative friends.