Mansoureh Azimi and Mohammad Reza Rouhi

Mansoureh Azimi and Mohammad Reza Rouhi, her husband, are successful couple. Mansoureh is a physically disabled woman. But Mohammad Reza is an ordinary man who has married Mansoureh despite the fact that his wife is a disabled woman. We have made an interview with this successful couple.

“My name is Mansoureh Azimi. I was born in 1969. I am the second child of my family. I have received my high school diploma. When I was 4 years old, I was afflicted with polio as a result of which I became a disabled person. In order to get rid of this physical disability, I underwent numerous medial operations and surgeries. However, all these efforts were quite useless, because polio is an incurable disease and its effects should be borne by the afflicted person up to the end of his or her life. As a result of this disease, I have to use walking sticks and braces for being able to move around,” Mansoureh said.

Elsewhere in this interview, Mansoureh added: “Despite the fact that I had to use walking sticks and braces for being able to move around, I have been a very agile person. I am a very competent swimmer. I am greatly interested in swimming in the sea waters. Those who have experienced swimming in the seas are familiar with the difficulties of swimming in such waters. Swimming in the sea waters, for instance in the waters of a sea such as the Caspian Sea, requires a huge amount of energy and an extensive amount of professionalism. When one swims in the sea, he becomes full of fear. He fears of being drowned in the sea. When he fears, then he might lose his self-confidence during the course of swimming in the sea waters. For example, when I go to swimming in the waters of the Caspian Sea, lifeguards become worried, because they cannot believe that a disabled person is able to swim in such waters. However, upon realizing that I am a competent and professional swimmer, their fear subsides. They even encourage me to continue swimming.”

Mansoureh also talks of her interest in sports. “I started sports with table tennis and sitting volleyball. Later on, however, I became interested in swimming and shooting. Therefore, I was profoundly involved in pursuing these two sports, i.e. swimming and shooting, in a professional manner. For many years, I was receiving numerous medals and plaques of honour in swimming championships. I received my last medal in swimming competitions in the holy city of Mashhad in 2011.”

Mohammad Reza, Mansoureh’s husband, introduced himself as follows: “My name is Mohammad Reza Rouhi. I have been born in 1974. I am originally from Shemiran, in the north of Tehran. I have an MA degree of management. I am a totally healthy person without any physical disability. Getting acquainted with Mansoureh and selecting her as the future companion of my life is a particularly interesting incident. I will do my best to elaborate on some of the most important developments that we have experienced in this regard. My getting acquainted with Mansoureh goes back to the time that I was a university student. At the same time, I had to work as a taxi driver in a public transportation agency. Most of the times, Mansoureh was used to take taxis from our agency. Very soon, I became interested in her and this interest was gradually turned into a profound love, a love that I had expected it for so many years. I had actually experienced that in-depth and profound love that inevitably befalls on a any young man who yearns for it during the course of his life.”  

Elsewhere in this interview, Mohammad Reza referred to the problems of the life for a young couple, especially when one of them is a disabled person. He said: “I encountered many problems in the path that I had adopted for myself. Mansoureh’s physical disability was only one of those problems. Our families were opposed to this marriage and this opposition further complicated our problems. I had numerous questions in my mind. I was determined to decide for my future with total awareness and consciousness. There was a kind of complementary energy in her that enhanced my motivation and energy for living and endeavouring. When I was assured of my love and feelings toward her, I became more determined and adopted my steps with more firmness. In each stage, I began to scrutinize the problems that might possibly rise in future and in the course of our common life. I also consulted with several medical doctors who were amongst our friends and relatives. I knew well that marriage with a physically disabled woman has its own problems and issues. I listed all the possible problems that might happen in our common life and made necessary assessments in this regard. At the end, I made my final decision: I was determined to marry her.”

Mansoureh, too, elaborated on all the hues and cries that happened over her marriage with Mohammad Reza. Mansoureh said: “Both families were opposed to such a marriage. They were reluctant to accept the possibility of such a union. They were concerned about the success of this marriage and recommended us to avoid getting married with each other. However, we were looking to our common future in a logical and serious manner. We were determined in the path that we had adopted and finally the two families consented.”

Mansoureh pointed out that she married Mohammad Reza in 2002. “My husband’s family did not attend in our wedding ceremony,” she continued. It was a very disappointing condition, especially for Mansoureh. She said: “Perhaps, Mohammad Reza’s family were justified in expressing their opposition to this marriage. Perhaps, their son could have chosen a better wife than me, someone who was not a physically disabled person. It was difficult for them to accept a daughter-in-law who was not physically normal. It was, however, more difficult for me, because I did my best to be an ideal daughter-in-law, but alas, it was quite useless.”

Mansoureh and Mohammad Reza have a son. His name is Amir Reza. “When our son, Amir Reza, was born, we forgot all the bitter memories of the past. We experienced the happy aspect of life, too. Becoming a mother was a huge responsibility compared with other responsibilities of my life. Gradually, a more cordial relationship was established between me and my husband’s family. They decided to accept my physical disability and we are now enjoying a very friendly relation with each other.” Mansoureh added.

Mohammad Reza elaborated on the fact that each individual human being should acknowledge that he or she has some defects and weaknesses in his or her life. “We should not expect that marriage eradicates such defects and weaknesses form our lives,” Mohammad Reza added.

Mohammad Reza and Mansoureh feel upset over the fact that they have had to use a lot of their energy to cope with overcoming their families’ oppositions to this marriage. “Their bitter words to, and looks at, us were bothersome and vexing,” they argued.

Expressing her gratitude to her instructors for the successes that she had achieved in the world of sports, Mansoureh said: “For my success in swimming, I am greatly indebted to Ms. Sadr, my swimming instructor. She has played a vitally important role in the enhancement of my swimming capabilities. Also, I should express my appreciation to Mr. Reza Kiarostami, my shooting instructor. I am really indebted to him for all my successful performances in shooting competitions.” Mansoureh expressed her indebtedness to her parents and also to her sister, Sahel. “However, I am greatly indebted to Mohammad Reza for all the moments of happiness that I had experienced with him. He has been a very kind and sincere husband for me. During all the years that we have lived as wife and husband, he never referred to the fact that I am a physically disabled person,” she added. She also expressed her special thanks to Mohammad Reza’s parents, who “are nowadays looking at me like their real daughter.”

At the end of this interview, Mohammad Reza and Mnasoureh recommend the young people to think thoroughly before they make any decisions for their lives. They recommend the younger generation to consult with their elders and make their decisions based on total awareness and understanding. If they did so, Mohammad Reza and Mansoureh argued, “then they will not be shocked by unexpected ups and downs in their lives.”

Tuesday 2014/12/9
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Mansoureh Azimi and Mohammad Reza Rouhi

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