What is Outlast The Past?
Outlast The Past is a platform created to share personal experiences and educational knowledge from myself, Reza Behboudi, regarding human rights, freedom of speech, life after political confinement in an Iranian prison and culture shock for immigrants and new-comers of a foreign country.
The ultimate goal and focus of this website is to reach out to individuals’ young, middle aged and the elderly to provide them with help and guidance on how to become a more grounded human being so they can properly deal with their past experiences in a healthy and positive way—no matter how traumatic, or disabling they might have been.
From Iran, to Turkey to Canada—a long and painful journey that was worth every hardship experienced.
My name is Reza Behboudi, and my life started in a small town in the North of Iran, where I grew up with a loving family, went to grade school and was involved in competitive wrestling during my teenage years. It was an overall normal upbringing, until my mid 20s, where life started to take a turn for me.
In 1979, a revolution in Iran erupted and I was put in a position to stand up for my freedom by revolting against the Iranian government. I decided that life was no longer safe where I was living and preceded to leave the country I once called home.
In my attempt to escape Iran, I was captured by the Iranian military and put into numerous prisons throughout a four year timeline—with two out the four years spent in solitary confinement.
During my imprisonment, I was restricted access to taking care of my personal hygiene (showering, brushing teeth, shaving) and was refused family visitations for 11 months straight. I was also severely mentally and physically tortured throughout my incarceration.
After four long years of enduring pain and hardship in prison, I was finally released, but was later drafted to serve time in the military for two years. After 11 years of attempting to escape Iran, I finally managed to do so 5 years after I finished my military duties. I fled to Turkey with my now ex-wife and my son in 1994 and lived there for 10 months, then migrated to my final destination in British Columbia, Canada to start a new life.
Traveling up North
I traveled over to Nunavut with my wife Shannon in 2011 to work as a sub teacher, librarian and ironically a prison guard for a short period of time. During my 1 ½ year stay in the blistering cold up North, I experienced the Inuit people’s culture and their way of life which has given me clarity, and knowledge in the way I now approache my writing and general lifestyle.
Education and Work Experience
I have been helping immigrants and survivors of torture since I moved to Canada in 1995.
Up until now, I have…
- Worked for a non-profit association for 10 years called VAST (Vancouver Association for the Survivors of Torture) helping immigrants and others who have experienced trauma in their past to adjust in Canada and navigate through the culture shock.
- Attained a diploma as a Community Support Worker.
- Attained a diploma at VCCT (Vancouver College of Counsellor Training) in Professional Counselling.
- Spoken publicly about my past experiences for the education system with high school kids between grades 10 to 12.
If you would like to work with me, please refer to the ‘Services’ page where you will find a list of the counselling and life coaching areas I focus on to further help you.
Life for Reza Today
I am currently living in a small town in Vancouver Island with my wife Shannon, and dog Jackson. I spend the majority of my time writing articles, working with clients, giving speeches, tending me and my wife’s hobby farm and enjoying the sounds of nature that surround my beautiful home.
Thank you for reading.
All the best,