How Taekwondo Helped this Iranian Refugee Start a New Life | Flag and Family

How Taekwondo Helped this Iranian Refugee Start a New Life | Flag and Family


I’ve lived here for four years
and have started a new life. I think it will be the same, but you know,
I’m always Iranian. Here in Belgium, nobody wants
to say, “You’re Belgian.” Everybody says,
“You’re Iranian.” (FLAG AND FAMILY) (RAHELEH ASEMANI) I’m Raheleh Asemani
and I do Taekwondo. I’m in the national team
of Belgium. I was born in Iran,
I’m from Iran, and I started Taekwondo
when I was nine years old. (IN 2012 RAHELEH LEFT IRAN
AS POLITICAL REFUGEE) (IN 2016 SHE WAS GRANTED
BELGIAN CITIZENSHIP) The best part of Taekwondo,
I think, for me, is fighting. I like fighting. If you fight, it makes you
a little bit calm. Physical training is important
when you do Taekwondo. It makes you speedy
and it make you harder. It is really important because if you didn’t do
physical training it’s difficult to get
good results. I get every time
positive energy from my physical training. Raheleh Asemani sought asylum
in Belgium as a refugee. Fought under the world
governing body flag to qualify for these
Olympic Games. I didn’t have my passport
before the Olympic Games. And then I get my passport, I did first time
European Championship and I get third place.
I was really happy! And then I am going
to Olympic Games. It was my second competition
with my new Belgian passport. The target, of course, here, is
the Olympic Games semifinal. Belgium in blue. Jade Jones
coming forward there. Raheleh Asemani going forward,
trying to walk in. That’s put the pressure
on the Belgian. 25 seconds left.
There’s the back kick there. Well blocked by Belgium’s
Raheleh Asemani, the 27-year-old,
had that difficult route into the Olympic Games. I was in the Olympic Village, and it was a good feeling
for me that I was there. I saw Iranian athletes
from Taekwondo, volleyball and other sports but I don’t have any connection
with them. If we see together
for example in competition, they’re a little bit
afraid of me. I don’t know why. I have every day
contact with my family. Maybe four hours,
five or six hours, after training,
between training. I always, always have contact. We speak face to face and I share everything
with my father. For example, I say,
“I want to drink tea,” and he say, “OK,
I want to do also tea,” we drink together,
we make birthday parties. We live actually together
and it’s really nice. I am happy when I see
my family, they are healthy. They are most important
in my life. (PERSIAN LANGUAGE) (SPOKEN BY 110 MILLION PEOPLE
WORLDWIDE) When I came to Belgium,
first month it was good for me. It was OK.
But after second month it was too difficult for me
because I was from Iran, I can’t speak English,
I can’t speak Dutch, and I must to learn
how I must write, how I must speak. It was a mix of Dutch, English
and Persian, it was too crazy. I’ve lived here for four years
and I start a new life. I think it will be the same,
but, you know, I’m always Iranian,
I am from Iran. Here in Belgium, nobody wants
to say, “You’re Belgian.” Everybody says,
“You’re Iranian.” I love Iran, it’s my land,
I’m always Iranian. If I’m going to Iran, they don’t want to accept
same as an Iranian. So I’m in the middle of
the Iranian and Belgian – it’s…different.

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