Iranian immigrant to sing national anthem at The Mayor’s Dream Ball

‘I feel really honored that I’ve been given this chance to sing it,’ Gola says

SAN ANTONIO – For one woman the message of unity, diversity and equality tugs a little harder at the heart, given that in her home country of Iran, her dream of becoming a singer is illegal.

“I was born in Iran, which is a beautiful country, full of history, color, culture. But there, there’s no freedom,” Gola said.

When Gola was 22, she made the decision to leave her country in pursuit of freedom through music. Gola said she would have never been allowed to be a solo singer as a woman in Iran.

Gola discovered her passion for singing at a very young age. She learned to use her talent as a tool for self-expression.

“Gradually, I got to know the power of music and how it affects people, their behavior, and even their decision makings,” Gola said.

After Gola left her home country, she ventured to Europe where she studied music in England, where she earned a master’s degree in music psychology. Gola would then make her way to America.

Gola is now preparing to sing the national anthem at The Mayor’s Dream Ball, a DreamWeek Gala.

I feel really honored that I’ve been given this chance to sing it, because it’s a very, very big thing for me,” Gola said.

As an immigrant, Gola said there is power in singing the lyrics of the “Star-Spangled Banner,” adding the song is about bravery, freedom, and victory. To make the moment even more special and in true San Antonio fashion, she will be accompanied by an all female mariachi.

“We want to make it unique, and we want to sound different. So, we are trying different ways of making it as beautiful as San Antonio,” Gola said.

The Mayor’s Dream Ball will take place at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Carlos Alvarez Studio Theater at the Tobin Center for The Performing Arts.

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About the Authors

Jonathan Cotto is a reporter for KSAT’s Good Morning San Antonio. He’s a bilingual award-winning news reporter and he joined KSAT in 2021. Before coming to San Antonio, Cotto was reporting along the U.S.-Mexico border in South Texas. He’s a veteran of the United States Navy.

Sal Salazar is a photojournalist at KSAT 12. Before coming to KSAT in 1998, he worked at the Fox affiliate in San Antonio. Sal started off his career back in 1995 for the ABC Affiliate in Lubbock and has covered many high-profile news events since. In his free time, he enjoys spending time at home, gaming and loves traveling with his wife.

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