Negzzia, Refugee, Homeless and Super Model. She Fights For a Dream

My name is Negzzia.  I was born on February 9, 1990 in Tehran, Iran.  My mother is a yoga teacher and my father is an engineer.  I am the only child. Since my childhood, I am passionate about the world of cinema, fashion, Art. From 18 to 24 years old, I worked as a photographer in Iran.  When I was 22, I was working in a fashion house in Tehran where I was quickly offered the job of model.  I immediately felt in love with modeling and I had a lot of success in Iran.  I have run for high fashion houses and for major Iranian & international brands, such as Fendi, Gucci, M & G etc.  I also lent my face to makeup artists.

I have always wanted to succeed in my homeland and I never thought about leaving my country because all my family and friends were there.  I wanted to do my best to enrich fashion with new ideas but life has decided otherwise. After a few years, the government decided that no models, photographers or brands could make fashion pictures without certain restrictions. According to the laws to which we were subjected, we had to work in hijab. From that moment, my problems started.

My colleagues were worried about getting back to work. A handful of models and photographers were continuing their activities and I was part of it. The government had already tried to stop me by entering my Facebook and Instagram accounts, but I redoubled my efforts to continue my activities.  This job was everything to me.  We had instructions from the authorities ordering us to stop working otherwise we would all be put in jail. Everyone around me asked me to comply with orders and apologize to the authorities.  But I did not do anything wrong and it was the job of my dreams.  They told me to quit my job, to apologize and pay the fine I owed the government.  But I did not do it.  For me, it was stupid and funny. I thought they were just trying to scare us, to impress us.

I dreamed of a career as international models, to see me on the covers of fashion magazines and to work freely like other models from abroad do.  But the government was very serious. I knew that my recent activities had not escaped the authorities and that my colleagues and I put ourselves in danger by continuing to practice our trades. The more we knew, the more attention we got from FATA. Their actions were not directed solely against me. Colleagues’ models and photographers suffered the same fate.

One day, a friend who had contact with the police called me and told me that the local police were on their way to arrest us. My punishment was heavier than the others because of nudity in my pictures. My punishment was Prison and flogging. Finally, I was forced to flee my country, leaving my family and friends with only one bag as baggage. Turkey was the only place where it was easy to get a visa and in which the cost of living was affordable. I left Iran before the police catch me and sent me to prison. God only knows what could have happened to me there.

I moved to Turkey and lived there more than one year. My Turkish friends helped me leave the country for my safety. They helped me get a visa to France. I was supposed to have a job and home when I arrived but the guy who helped me to find the job finally refused to help me because I didn’t have sex with him. I moved to France alone.

Today, I am in France and I became a refugee because I needed a new ID and I wanted to work normally. Living as a refugee was a nightmare and it was not easy. I lost all my money with hotels because I couldn’t rent a home or find a job and I became homeless in Paris and I had to sleep in the street during wintertime.

I want to fulfill my dreams as an artist.  I do not ask much, just the opportunity to be what I am and do what I love. I lost everything for this dream, my home, my father and my friends. Now I just want to live without fear and start a new life in the art world. Million times I wanted to give up but my dream was only thing that I had, the only thing that makes me feel that I want to fight with darkness and make my dream life comes true. I have nothing to lose anymore and I just want to try my best. I live once and want to prove to myself and all people who are in hard situations that dreams can come true.

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