White Bear Lake, Minn. (February 8, 2011) – Century College students passing through the second-floor Science/Library Building skyway often do a double-take when they see two seemingly identical young men studying or chatting at one of the round tables.
The question often arises, “Are those two guys twins?”
Answer: yes, they are.
Twin brothers Kianmehr and Kianoosh Ehtiatkar, 19, live in Little Canada, but they were born and raised in Tehran, Iran. They have been studying engineering at Century for almost two years, and they plan to finish their degrees in mechanical engineering at the University of Minnesota’s College of Science and Engineering.
Friendly, funny and relaxed, the brothers are excellent students and have made many friends at Century. Graduates of an elite private high school in Iran, the brothers take mostly math and science courses at Century, but they also have enjoyed their sociology and English classes.
In Iran, they spoke Farsi and studied English grammar since they were eight years old, but they did not get much opportunity to speak English. At Century, their English-speaking skills have soared.
“It’s a dream for everybody in Iran to come to America,” said Kianoosh, who is called Noosh. “They have seen a lot of things on TV, and they think everything here is cool.”
The brothers said it is also difficult to find a job in Iran because the economy is not good. Only those with “connections” are fortunate enough to find good jobs.
“There are people with bachelor’s degrees who are doing cleaning jobs,” said Kianmehr, who is called Mehr. “There are many unemployed doctors.”
The brothers learned about Century from a cousin who earned his doctorate degree and is living in Washington, D.C. He encouraged them to enroll in Century because it is affordable and the credits transfer to the University. It turned out to be good advice.
“We like it here very much,” said Noosh. “We have made lots of friends.”
The brothers have taken every one of their Century courses together, and that has been helpful. “If one of us doesn’t get a concept, the other one will,” said Noosh. “Two minds are better than one. We also help each other with homework.”
“If I get sick, I do his homework,” said Mehr. “Then he owes me.”
The brothers have received exactly the same grades at Century, just as they did back in Iran. They noted that in high school, on a scale of 1 to 20, both received a score of 19.79 for the year. They had made the same mistakes on tests.
The brothers said they are together almost every minute of every day, and they do quarrel from time to time. “All brothers fight,” they said, and laughed.
They are currently taking calculus, physics and engineering. “It’s a lot of work and the subjects are getting harder,” said Mehr.
The brothers said many Americans have mistaken ideas about Iran. For example, many think that Iranians speak Arabic, and they get Iran and Iraq mixed up. The brothers do not take offense, and they are glad to educate people about their homeland.
The brothers live with their parents in Little Canada, and they have an older brother in Malaysia. Because their mom is still cooking for them, they still enjoy the Persian food they grew up with. They do miss family and friends back in Iran.
To earn extra money, the brothers work part-time at Grandma’s Bakery in White Bear Lake, decorating cakes and doing other tasks.
There is one difference between the brothers that you will notice if you watch them write. Noosh is right-handed and Mehr is left-handed. Mehr also explained that he is five minutes older. “I kicked him out,” said Noosh, smiling.