“Today’s his tenth birthday. He’s a very emotional young man. He likes to solve other people’s problems.
“I was so scared when they were building it. There was always a doubt that it would work the same way that it did in my mind.
“My father believed that confidence was the most important thing you could teach a child. Even when I was little, he would do things to make me feel important.
“When the competition was announced to design this bridge, I was still a student. I was only 25 at the time.
“With Joanna’s encouragement, I went to school for English. When I passed the entrance exam and was admitted to university, she sent me a long sleeved shirt and $500 for my tuition.
“I took the entrance exam for engineering when I was 19. I knew immediately that I had failed. When I got my score, I had an anxiety attack and lost control.
“My daughter has a heart for animals. She wants to start her own charity to help dogs and cats. But I worry that she will get her heart broken because we have no culture for animals here.
“I tried to warn her about her last boyfriend, but she didn’t want to listen. Once I overheard him telling her that she needed to respect him.
“They do nothing but fight at home. But they stick together when we’re out in the world.” (Namakabroud, Iran)
“We were married in the traditional way. Our two families knew each other, so a meeting was arranged.
“I was twenty-two during World War II. First the English invaded us from the south, then the Russians invaded us from the north.
“It’s a little complicated. Because he’s my boss.” (Tehran, Iran)
“My father was always very interested in religion. He wrote some books, but I was never religious myself, so I never bothered reading them.
“I stayed away from home because my father was a very domineering man. So I didn’t spend enough time with my mother before she died.” (Tehran, Iran)
“I can draw a lot of things. I can draw trees, the sun, clouds, my mom, and my dad. I once drew a picture of a house that was so good, I had to hide it so nobody would steal it.” (Tehran, Iran)
“There’s a big contrast between my fantasies and my life. I use art to bridge the gap. I’m starting a new project where I’m covering nude bodies with paint and laying them on canvas.
“My doctor told me to stop climbing mountains so now I just climb the small ones.” (Tehran, Iran)
“She’s from a very conservative family and she’s the only daughter. So I’m trying to win her parents’ trust.
“I’m trying to be an artist, but my parents just don’t understand. I showed a painting to my mom, and I was like: ‘Do you like it?
“I want to be a cancer doctor. Because my mom has cancer.” (Tehran, Iran)