Sohila Zanjani – A Member Success Story
Sohila Zanjani. Former Frankston Cooperative Member (1988 -2002).
As recorded in the recent member meeting minutes by Greg Nolan –
Sohila became a member of Frankston Housing Co-op. in 1988, as a single mother with 4 children, having fled from Iran with her family a few years earlier, to try and make a better and safer life in Australia.
Sohila endured seven years of marriage with a husband who oppressed and ‘enslaved’ her. Eventually, Sohila sought refuge from this hard existence, and found hope and friendship in the Frankston co-op community, and she acknowledged in her speech, the help she received at that time, from Frankston members Shirley,
Lindsay and Pauline, who are still active SouthEast members today.
The main theme of her inspiring story is the “importance of secure housing.” Just knowing that she had a secure, safe roof over her children’s heads, was a starting point for her to embark on her life’s quest to become a successful businesswoman, and take up studying law, now only weeks away from completion.
While Sohila admits that she had normal human fears, i.e. the fear of an overbearing husband, the fear of failure, and the fear of the unknown, Sohila showed the courage to follow through on her dreams and aspirations for a better life.
Her story is encapsulated in a book Sohila wrote, called ‘Scattered Pearls’, a tale about the lives of 3 generations of Iranian women, her grandmother, her mother, and herself, as they tried to find their path to freedom.
Sohila explained about the picture on the front cover of her book, the Red Lips signify ‘Speaking Out’, with red being the colour of ‘Love and Truth’.