Success Comes in Twos: Zahra Rassouli Joins Husband as Citizen

Zahra Rassouli came into the CIANA office to share her happy news after her exam. Astoria, NY. Photo: Maria Eliades

Zahra Rassouli, one of CIANA's civics and ESL students, didn't pass the speaking exam on her citizenship test the first time around. But she didn't let that get her down, even when her husband passed before her.

Rassouli moved to the U.S. from Iran in 2013 with her husband, Abbas Khakpour. The couple started coming to CIANA in summer 2018 and January 2018 to prepare for their citizenship exam. As two of the most enthusiastic students in CIANA's ESL and Civics classes, they always strove to learn more.

When Rassouli faltered on the speaking portion of her citizenship exam in April 2018, she came back to CIANA for one-on-one tutoring that the organization started in response to her need.

On June 24, 2019, Rassouli returned to CIANA with a grin on her face. Coming into the office quietly, she told everyone, "I passed."

On the very next day, Khakpour came in with a tiramisu cake to celebrate his wife's success with their entire class and with CIANA staff.