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'Dare to Dream': 12-year-old Iranian immigrant writes book about his journey

Shervin Azar wants to inspire other young new Canadians to keep positive and push themselves

CBC News

March 11, 2017

Shervin Azar: immigrant and author  7:49

Shervin Azar is hoping his efforts to adjust to a new life in Canada will help other young people going through a similar struggle.

The 12-year-old wrote and self-published Dare to Dream: Tween's Road to Success about his family's journey towards a better life.

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Azar came to Canada from Iran four years ago. His family started in Toronto and moved through three provinces before finally settling in Abbotsford, B.C.

"I was really nervous," Azar told host Gloria Macarenko on CBC's Our Vancouver. "[I thought], what if I don't learn English? I was really communicative in Iran but here I was like a mouse. It's like not having legs — but I grew my legs back up."

Shervin Azar began learning English after he emigrated from Iran three years. Now, he's the author of his own book. (CBC)

Azar sunk himself into his new language taking every opportunity to practice English, both out loud and on paper. He reads a lot of books and continues to keep up on all the latest news — including what is happening south of the border and the Trump administration's new travel ban. 

"I was really sad and angry at the same time because if there are governmental issues between the countries, the people shouldn't have to pay for it," he said.

Azar says he is proof that a person can integrate and fit in the community.

Sharing a message

Azar says he's been an author ever since he was able to write his thoughts down. He hopes he can share his story and message with other refugees that might be enduring a similar struggle, as well as with other young Canadians who are watching the wave of immigration come in.

The grade schooler says he's a big proponent of setting goals for himself, and doing everything he can to follow them. He cites Facebook founder Mark Zuckerburg as his hero. 

"He took a risk", says Azar. "And look at him now."

Dare to Dream: Tween's Road to Success tells the tale of Azar's transition into Canada. (CBC)

The tween's friends were surprised their pal was able to accomplish so much during his few years in Canada. Azar says his next goal is to get the best education he can.

But he also has longterm plans, including continuing writing his memoir — and make it a series.

And eventually he'd like to have a New York Times best seller.

Click here to watch Shervin Azar chat with Gloria Macarenko on Our Vancouver

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