Iranian woman turns scrap metal into stunning artwork

Category: Lifestyle/Entertainment


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. midlife / ˈmɪdˈlaɪf / (n.) – the middle part of one’s life when he/she is neither young nor old, usually considered to be from about 45 to 60 years old

    Many people plan to retire in their midlife for a more enjoyable life.

  2. garner / ˈgɑr nər / (v.) – to get or collect something that one wants, such as support, usually with difficulty

    The hardworking student has garnered herself a scholarship through academic excellence and strong commitment.

  3. commute / kəˈmyut / (n.) – the journey that you make when you travel to or from a place that you regularly go to

    My daily commute to work takes about 30 minutes by train.

  4. scrapyard / ˈskræpˌjɑɚd / (n.) – a place where old vehicles, machines, etc., are collected, sold, or prepared to be used again

    Local artists often explore the scrapyard for unique materials to use in their artwork.

  5. fulfillment / fʊlˈfɪl mənt / (n.) – the feeling of being happy and satisfied with what one is doing or achieving in life

    Volunteering at the animal shelter gives him a sense of fulfillment and purpose.


Read the text below.

Not everyone is ready for a bold career change at midlife to pursue their passions and dreams, but one Iranian woman did it, and she couldn’t be happier with the results.

Maryam Kazemi worked as a financial manager at a Tehran hospital until she was over 40. In 2017, she decided to quit and pursue her childhood dreams of painting and sculpture.

When she finally decided to make the switch, she started upcycling scrap metal into stunning portraits and beautiful sculptures.

“Creating things and sculpture were among my lifetime passions and I finally started pursuing it,” Kazemi says. “It has been 3 to 4 years since I started my own workshop and I have been doing what I love,” she adds.

At her workshop, Kazemi has several assistants and a growing customer base from both Iran and abroad. She uses scrap metal, and car parts such as bolts, nuts and chains.

Her quality artwork has garnered her a large number of followers on social media, and her Instagram page has over 83,000 followers. Every week, she loads trucks for the delivery of orders.

Kazemi says her love for the art is what gives her the energy to take the long commute to her workshop, some 30km (about 19 miles) southwest of Tehran.

During summer, the work becomes more challenging for Kazemi as the metal parts she works with become very hot, and searching through outdoor scrapyards becomes more difficult.

However, she says she finds fulfillment and joy in every aspect of her work. “With each piece I create, it feels as though I’ve gained a new life. When I create something (new), it’s like I have been born again. I really love this job,” Kazemi says.

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • Why do you think it is a bold decision to make a career change in one’s midlife? In your opinion, is there an ideal age to switch careers? Discuss.
  • If you have a friend who wants to make a career shift in his/her midlife, what advice would you give him/her? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • What was your childhood dream (ex. to become an astronaut, to become a professional athlete)? Are you currently pursuing that dream? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Why do you think some people are not able to pursue their childhood dreams? In your opinion, how important is it to pursue a career that one has always dreamed of doing? Discuss.