The Iranian story begins more than two millennia ago in the Middle East, in a land that would come to be called Persia. They built an empire that stretched from North Africa to India, from the Caspian to the Red Sea. A people of diverse ethnicities and faiths, they developed rich traditions that endured centuries of migrations and conquests. In the second half of the 1900s, their upheaval and ultimately, revolution. In 1979, the revolution thrust Ayatollah Khomeini into power, which began an era where Islamic law ruled and dissent was not tolerated. From this, tens of thousands of Iranians left their homeland for the United States, a country they would come to call home.