FEBRUARY 1979: I go to the toilet in the basement of a shopping centre. When I'm in the cubicle, the lights go out. I wait for a moment, the open the door and try to leave the toilets. Someone grabs me from behind, presses something against my arm and says: "If you scream, I'll shoot."

APRIL 1979: My parents escape from Iran with me and fly to Switzerland, my mother's homeland. Two weeks later the borders are shut.

APRIL 1979: My aunt loves me. I feel accepted and safe.

JULY 1979: My Uncle Werner shaves his beard off and someone shows me his beard hair. I don't recognize my uncle any more. I am incredulous.

AUGUST 1979: I start school. Our class teacher is male, which is very important to me. My mother has made my school cone for the first day herself. It looks like me.

DECEMBER 1979: Decision to become a dancer.