My name is Mitra Ashtiani and I’m from Iran.
My family practiced Christianity in secret. My father had come to know and love Jesus, and since then our family had to be very wary of the danger of being discovered and exposed for having converted to the Christian faith.
We had a lot of problems in my country, but leaving was incredibly hard as it is still the world that we knew and grew up in. We left our lives behind. But we had no choice if we wanted to live free. My parents left Iran in 2012, and afterwards my sister and I followed them in 2013.
In Iran I studied double degrees in marketing management and chemistry, but I had always painted even if I am not professional. When I was in the detention centre in Melbourne, I met with the artists and started to pick it up more seriously. Now, my two passions are painting and voluntary work in my local community.