Banquet in the restaurant. Romina always needs to be close to the guests. Sometimes she has to entertain them with dances. Despite a fact that it is forbidden to dance for Iran women in the presence of a man, however Iranian visitors usually are not confused

Banquet in the restaurant. Romina always needs to be close to the guests. Sometimes she has to entertain them with dances. Despite a fact that it is forbidden to dance for Iran women in the presence of a man, however Iranian visitors usually are not confused

When Romina came to Russia, she wrote a self-portrait in a hijab
«Why does everyone say that a woman can’t defend herself? Why should I stay at home and do nothing? I study  art , is it so bad? I draw nudes during classes , but they said , "Draw in a room so no one can see it". How could I live here?»

When Romina came to Russia, she wrote a self-portrait in a hijab
«Why does everyone say that a woman can’t defend herself? Why should I stay at home and do nothing? I study art , is it so bad? I draw nudes during classes , but they said , "Draw in a room so no one can see it". How could I live here?»

Romina in an apartment of her friend Hakim in St. Petersburg. She's going to work in a restaurant
«When I came here, I had found out that we had problems with money. I'm an adult girl, why should dad feed us? So I started to work. Dad was against it. He said , he can always  send money  to me. But I know that it's very hard for him.»

Romina in an apartment of her friend Hakim in St. Petersburg. She's going to work in a restaurant
«When I came here, I had found out that we had problems with money. I'm an adult girl, why should dad feed us? So I started to work. Dad was against it. He said , he can always send money to me. But I know that it's very hard for him.»

Romina discusses business with Hakim in a restaurant
«I have no friends  except Hakim in St. Petersburg. He is the closest person of  my life now. He knows that I can deceive anyone, but I will never deceive my parents and him. Hakim is an active person and can do everything in St. Petersburg. This is that  kind of person I need.»

Romina discusses business with Hakim in a restaurant
«I have no friends except Hakim in St. Petersburg. He is the closest person of my life now. He knows that I can deceive anyone, but I will never deceive my parents and him. Hakim is an active person and can do everything in St. Petersburg. This is that kind of person I need.»

Stay Romina — Valentin Sidorenko
Romina comes back from the restaurant by night. She cooks dinner for herself and Hakim

Romina comes back from the restaurant by night. She cooks dinner for herself and Hakim

Stay Romina — Valentin Sidorenko
Romina is engaged in a fitness club
«”She's not a boy”. When I heard this phrase from my father I told him that I was no longer interested in whether he allowed me to study.»

Romina is engaged in a fitness club
«”She's not a boy”. When I heard this phrase from my father I told him that I was no longer interested in whether he allowed me to study.»

Romina does not like to much to spend time like this, but sometimes she visits clubs or bars. In Iran, parties take place but keep in secret is in a nightclub in the center of Moscow

Romina does not like to much to spend time like this, but sometimes she visits clubs or bars. In Iran, parties take place but keep in secret is in a nightclub in the center of Moscow

Romina lives alone in a dorm room in Moscow. At first she felt a strong loneliness and nostalgia, but after all she realized she is not in Iran anymore. It's important for her to stay as you are. Romina says that she didn’t come here easily to leave easily

Romina lives alone in a dorm room in Moscow. At first she felt a strong loneliness and nostalgia, but after all she realized she is not in Iran anymore. It's important for her to stay as you are. Romina says that she didn’t come here easily to leave easily

Romina in her dorm room is getting ready to sleep

Romina in her dorm room is getting ready to sleep

Romina sleeps in her dorm room
«When I told my father that I wanted to open a restaurant, he asked me why. I had big problems. It looked like he didn’t believe in me. He said that I can’t live in Russia -But look at me, I have been living here  for seven years. He said that I couldn’t enter the university - I have already did it. He said that I can’t work here - I work, and now he says that I can’t open a restaurant - and I have opened!»

Romina sleeps in her dorm room
«When I told my father that I wanted to open a restaurant, he asked me why. I had big problems. It looked like he didn’t believe in me. He said that I can’t live in Russia -But look at me, I have been living here for seven years. He said that I couldn’t enter the university - I have already did it. He said that I can’t work here - I work, and now he says that I can’t open a restaurant - and I have opened!»

Romina in her home in Tehran. Father looks out the window while Romina is resting. Romina always visits her family once a year. She understands that it is very important for the father to preserve family ties

Romina in her home in Tehran. Father looks out the window while Romina is resting. Romina always visits her family once a year. She understands that it is very important for the father to preserve family ties

Playing the violin is one of the hobbies of Romina's younger brother, Alireza. At home he plays several times a week for the family. Romina says that if he wants to go to Russia, it will be easier than her, because she will help him

Playing the violin is one of the hobbies of Romina's younger brother, Alireza. At home he plays several times a week for the family. Romina says that if he wants to go to Russia, it will be easier than her, because she will help him

«Iran is trying to show that women works in Islamic country. However, most women are happy that they are housewives, and  husband brings a salary. But some women, like me, are unhappy»

«Iran is trying to show that women works in Islamic country. However, most women are happy that they are housewives, and husband brings a salary. But some women, like me, are unhappy»

Sisters share the values of Romina and respect her way of life, but unlike her, they do not have the opportunity to leave the country

Sisters share the values of Romina and respect her way of life, but unlike her, they do not have the opportunity to leave the country

Stay Romina — Valentin Sidorenko
At home, Romina is very tired. She does not have enough time for herself and for communication with those who understand her. So sometimes she goes to a restaurant with her sisters

At home, Romina is very tired. She does not have enough time for herself and for communication with those who understand her. So sometimes she goes to a restaurant with her sisters

Here Romina can talk about what it's really interesting

Here Romina can talk about what it's really interesting

While mom is praying, Romina discusses business questions by phone
«Mom was also worried. She said that you must show that you are a woman, and you go to work, in this case you play a role of a man, not a role of a woman. I do not care. To me the main thing is that now father can work less.»

While mom is praying, Romina discusses business questions by phone
«Mom was also worried. She said that you must show that you are a woman, and you go to work, in this case you play a role of a man, not a role of a woman. I do not care. To me the main thing is that now father can work less.»

I always wanted to earn money to help people. At first, for parents, to make my dad not work anymore. Because I see that he spent a whole his life for us and mom. I think I could never become a mother like her

I always wanted to earn money to help people. At first, for parents, to make my dad not work anymore. Because I see that he spent a whole his life for us and mom. I think I could never become a mother like her

A person which grows with 2 names simultaneously shall, in anyway, have an interesting story of life. «Romina» is not a Muslim name. Her parents wanted to avoid her daughter problems in the future so in one moment they decided to change it. That is why she has two names now -one for passport and another one only for her family.
Romina has always stood out her family with sympathy and strong character, and this way she has been able to stand by herself. However, this fact did not go well with her father’s vision of life and Iranian family values, where the roles of men and women are strictly distributed. Romina was more interested in art and didn’t care a lot about other people’s opinion. In Islamic Iran, traditions of nude drawings are not allowed, and such a free woman’s position is even more unusual. So, it was not easy situation for Romina’s family to let her go abroad to study in Russia. More over, by that time she was only a seventeen years old teenager.
This was especially difficult for her father. Too many problems for this free soul child in this young age and… what would her relatives say? Everybody was afraid of Romina becoming an outcast of Iranian society. After all these difficult questions and doubts, her father finally decided to let his daughter go to build her life as she wants.
When Romina finally arrived in Moscow, her family found themselves in a difficult financial situation. At the beginning her father provided Romina with money. She felt responsible and engaged to her family while living in Moscow for a year and a half, learning Russian, preparing to enter Art Institute. After some time, Romina realized that she could not take her father’s money anymore, because she also has a small brother in Iran and it was too much spending for the two of them. Then, she decided to change her life and get a work to start providing her family. However, her father could not accept his daughter going to work and getting «a man´s role» so, again, another un-easy conversation happened and, again, Romina finally won.
5 years have passed. Now Romina lives in a dormitory in Moscow where she studies in VGIK. Romina worked as a guide for Iranian tourists and as interpreter for long time, and then she opened a small oriental restaurant in St. Petersburg. During summer, in the high season of tourism, she works in a restaurant while the rest of the time she has lessons. Combining classes and working in a different country is extremely difficult, therefore Romina’s friend Hakim took charge part of the business. Hakim understands that working with her is profitable because Romina is a pragmatic person that can hold everything in her hands. When she opened the restaurant, father finally realized that his daughter can give a real support and participate on family’s life on an equal basis along him.
Romina has a dream. Since childhood she has been thinking that one day she will help a children without parents to give them all that love which she got from her family. That is why Romina wants to adopt a children.