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Mojgan, Iran

Right, my name is Mojgan Esmaily. I am in my early 40s. I come from Iran. I left Iran when I was about fourteen and I was only a school student, and when I arrived here in the United Kingdom I went to school here as well. I went to a girls’ school, a girls’ grammar school in Leeds and after girls’ grammar school I went to college - boarding school - where I learned photography. After photography, I did my A-Levels and consequently I went to university to do graphic design and communication studies. After university... I went to Coventry university, and I was living in Birmingham. After that, one of my brothers - because one of my brothers was living in Belfast, I decided to come and join him. He had a few businesses going, and I started helping him with his businesses, worked, and then I seek employment with a design agency in Belfast. I worked as a graphic designer there for fifteen years. Now, I’ve lived in Belfast since 1990.

This object that I’ve brought with me today is called samovar. It was my mother’s. Samovar is a tool to make tea with in Iran. This samovar is beautiful and I’ve got lots of memories from it because part of my mother’s dowry when she married my father - long, long time ago, they are both passed away now. I’ve always seen that in our house, the samovar. You heat the water with coal, and then place the teapot on top of it to heat with the steam, the hot water. It’s a beautiful object, and that is that.