A Scattering of Seeds: The Creation of Canada
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General History


The 1996 census counts 62,385 Persian-speaking Iranians living in Canada. This is a 28% increase from the previous census of 1991. The Iranian community is a young one, both in terms of the length of time it has been established in Canada, and the age of the members of this community. Only 7% of Iranian-Canadians are over the age of 60. The largest age group is between 25 and 39.(10)

Iranian immigrants to Canada come from a wide range of cultures in Iran. What they do have in common is the Persian language and a great love for their homeland. The majority of Iranians have settled in Canada's cities. They are well educated and motivated with a strong entrepreneurial drive. With the growing popularity of Persian carpets, many have become involved in the import/export market. The new Iranian Canadians can be found in every facet of Canadian life from dishwasher to taxi driver, from physician to professor.

Though there may not be a defined Iranian neighbourhood, there are a number of associations created by Iranian immigrants to promote their culture, such as the Iranian Language Programs and the Fedowsi Association of Canada. The objectives of this association is to promote "Brotherhood, Perseverance, Integrity, Charity and Action", and to nurture cultural and social interest within the Iranian community.(11) In 1982, the Persian TAC Foundation was founded to help new Iranians adjust to life in Canada. This is a non-profit organization founded completely by its own productivity. In September 1984, TAC organized an event to salute the bicentennial of Ontario and the sesquicentennial of Toronto. This event was full of Iranian music, dance and food and was well attended by both Iranians and non-Iranian Canadians. It was a celebration of diversity that has come to symbolize Canada.(12

The subject of our film, Dr. Tofy Mussivand was born into a different world from the Canadian culture in which he now lives. His Kurdish village in Northern Iran was one without electricity or running water, a society still dominated by tribal loyalties and ruled by tribal chiefs.

During the hot Middle East summer nights, Tofy slept on the roof of his house, staring at the heavens, contemplating the mystery of life. Through hard work and an eye for opportunities, Tofy rose from his humble shepherd roots to become one of the leading experts in the creation of artificial organs. Now a Canadian, he is living proof that regardless of our origins, we can never know from where our greatness will spring.

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