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May 23, 2024

Lessons on resilience, regeneration from Iran

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Zara Noruzi. Photo Celia Galpin.

The Byron Shire Resilience and Regeneration Roadshow, hosted by Renew Fest and Resilient Byron, kicked off on February 13 with a series of neighbourhood events across the area tackling the question: How do we create more resilient communities in 2021?

Zara Noruzi is one of the special guest speakers, and this is her response to this question:

‘I grew up in Iran, in an environment where being resourceful and resilient wasn’t really a choice anyone had the luxury of making. It was rather a skill that determined one’s survival.

‘It was a time when Iran had just come out of eight years of war, with no imports or exports, and most cities and towns cut off or isolated, we were forced to build local economies that could thrive despite all of that.

‘The food shortages throughout those years taught us the importance of growing food, minimising waste and reusing all resources.

‘With vastly traumatised and over-populated communities who had lost loved ones and all belongings, it all seemed like an impossible task and all predictions were indicating that mass hysteria would lead to violence and crimes.

‘But as you might have guessed, that wasn’t the case at all.

‘Sure, some individuals stole and hoarded resources and tried to benefit from others’ suffering, but the masses gravitated towards joining the workforce that was productive, innovative and progressive.

Like-minded groups

‘Like-minded groups joined forces and created community gardens, temporary housing and support circles to hold the ones who were suffering the most, and forged ahead to be a force for good. 

‘Throughout history, we have inflicted a lot of trauma on each other and on our planet. If not now, then when is the time to start healing, and if not us, then who?’

For more information go to RenewFest.

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