Muhammad and Atusa are spouses from Iran who have been living in Serbia for a year and a half. It would not be so unusual if they were not now called Michael and Theodore after they became Orthodox at the beginning of the year, and even more interesting is the fact that they first celebrated patron saint.
– We are fortunate to be celebrating for the first time. That was extremely important to us. We invited a few friends over for a visit. We wish we could have celebrated in our house, but it’s good this way – they said.
Muhammad, more specifically Michael, is an art historian and archeologist by profession. He and his wife are political dissidents abandoned by Iran amid fears of regime persecution.
They arrived in Serbia at the end of August last year and after a short stay in Vranje, settled in the Asylum Center in Banja Koviljaca.
– When I came to Serbia, I realized immediately that there is a beautiful nature here, that people are kind and that this country is actually a wonderful environment. As soon as I realized how good people are here and how safe this environment is, I decided to stay – Michael begins his story.
This married couple from Iran is dedicated to painting and making calligraphy. They understand Serbian well but do not speak it fluently yet. They made many friends in Serbia, and visits to a nearby church led to a fateful acquaintance.