How did Bahman Yazdanfar get to this point?

     Bahman Yazdanfar’s life can truly be called a journey, whether one uses that expression to mean physical travel, emotional challenges, or mental and spiritual development. Born in Tehran, he made a choice of settling in Canada and came to Toronto as an immigrant early in 1986 at the age of 27 and immediately began to learn English. He also set himself the task of familiarizing himself with Canadian culture, which was very different from that of Iran, or of Afghanistan, where he attended medical school, or Europe, where he resided before his arrival in Canada.

     Like many newcomers, Bahman started from scratch by working in a factory as a general labourer while trying to get back into his field. After some time he learned the unfortunate truth that the policies and the laws of the land were not favourable to the resumption of his medical career, and he had to choose another path. So, he pounded the pavements of Toronto, seeking his destiny in his new home country.

     Receiving his citizenship in 1990, he traveled from coast to coast to discover Canada. He learned that, in contrast to the more than a dozen countries he had resided in before his arrival, Canada is a place where immigrants from all cultures, backgrounds, races, and religions live side-by-side, and share the commonality of belonging to the human race. This strengthened his resolve to contribute meaningfully to his chosen homeland. To improve his English language, Bahman enrolled at the University of Saskatchewan, then followed his dream of continuing across Canada to British Columbia where he lived for about four years in Vancouver.

     Through his experience Bahman adapted his skills to helping individuals and society in a way that diverged somewhat from medicine, but to which he found himself eminently well-suited, namely business consultancy. Upon his return to Toronto, he started his own small advertising company to help retailers and merchants promote their small to medium size businesses. Since then he has been advancing his knowledge and developing new systems in order to provide the necessary training and consulting for those business owners who are facing serious challenges and hardship in their daily activities.

     Bahman's resilience and belief in keeping up the good fight has been honed by the many hardships he has overcome, including years of political turmoil and social unrest in the Middle East, where he was raised and educated. His natural resilience and independence helped him deal with loneliness and statelessness in Europe while he was waiting to immigrate, and uncertainty of the future and day-to-day confrontation in Canada while adjusting to his new life. Adversity, to him, has come to mean an opportunity to learn and understand the universe, and each rough ride has taken him closer to the realization that he is not here to waste his talents on trivialities. So, instead, he focuses his energies and creativity on problem-solving.

     This new environment has provided Bahman with an opportunity to observe and discover that people from all walks of life and every corner of this planet suffer internally in a very similar fashion. At thirty, looking back at his life and the roller-coaster he was riding on, Bahman pondered that there had to be something more to life than just work and paying the bills. Hence, he started to search for peace of mind and to seek reasons for his existence, and like many, he tried different venues to no avail.

     In the last twenty five years, Bahman has witnessed day-by-day local retailers and merchants gradually losing their hope of prosperity, mainly due to the restricted policies and taxes that are imposed by different levels of government, as well as lack of proper management of the market economy by the bank authorities. He was forced to close his office in 2007 due to the economic adversity and seek employment to keep himself afloat in the hope of better opportunities in the future.

     Bahman believes that a stable economy, free from useless restrictions, is one that best benefits communities. He also believes that an unmotivating environment makes society dull in the long run, and complacency carries the danger of being a medium for corruption and crime. That is why he has entered into political affairs. He wants to apply his knowledge and experience in an attempt to make a difference.

     He sees remarkable similarities between how the major political parties run their campaigns, and how they run the government. Instead of resolving issues that affect every citizen in this vast, beautiful land, they spend their time finding faults with their rivals at the expense of taxpayers in order to stay in power. Bahman holds the view that if you want improvement, you cannot get it by repeating mistakes, and finding alternatives is do-able, especially if one taps into the potential of Canada and all of its people.

     Bahman's passion for addressing matters of serious public concern has led him, in recent years, to allocate most of his time to journalism. His own media outlet, Voters Echo, has links to online interviews which he conducts and panel discussions which he facilitates. These videos, along with articles written by himself and other conscientious observers, draw our attention to issues that affect us all, though they are ignored by mainstream radio and television.

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Karen Lee Wilde

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