Q: Can I mention your name?
A: I would prefer you didn't.
Q: When did you get your American citizenship?
A: About two years ago.
Q: Why did you become a citizen?
A: To get an American passport. To be able to vote. I live here.
Q: That's it?
A: America is now my second country. My life is here, whether I like it or not.
Q: How did you feel when you pledged allegiance to America?
A: I wasn't feeling bad. I was a bit happy.
Q: A bit?
A: This isn't my country. I wanted to be in my country, to study there and work over there.
Q: When did you leave Iran?
A: It was 1984. It was during the war. I didn't want to go to war. I gave money to someone to go to Turkey. Then I went to Italy. Then I came here.
Q: Do you feel you are an American now?
A: Not really. I'll always be an Iranian.
Q: What do you think about the future?
A: Uncertain. I don't exactly know. I've made some progress here. But not the way I had planned.
Q: What were your plans?
A: I wanted to finish school as quickly as possible. But it's difficult financially. Money is everything in this country. Money comes first.
Q: Who are your friends?
A: They're mostly Iranian.
Q: Why not more Americans?
A: I don't get the things I expect from a friend from an American. It's hard for me to adjust to them culturally.
Q: What's different about them?
A: Things like doing favors for each other. Americans are generous in their own way. But not like Iranians.
Q: Are you comfortable with Americans?
A: They've been brought up differently. The only things they care about are MTV and making money. Not all of them. But most of them.
Q: What about freedom?
A: They have political freedom. But they are ignorant about politics. They voted for (Republican New York Governor George) Pataki.
Q: Who will you vote for?
A: I want to vote for those who care about the middle class and the underprivileged and the immigrants. This country was built by immigrants.
Q: Do you think you'll stay here permanently?
A: I don't want to. But I think I will be here the rest of my life.