My name is Mike Hamidy and I am a friend and colleague of
Albin Sandqvist, we are the ones who proudly founded Salta Friends.
The story of the road that led to the formation of the company started
in Iran. I was born in Tehran in 1967 to a safe and tender ordinary family
with warm and encouraging upbringing for a meaningful life in humanity.
In our family, I gained experience from being a relative of a person with
major disabilities. After primary school and high school, awaited
interesting studies to become pharmacist at the University of Tehran.
It is there and then that my life changes at a quick pace.
In the then ongoing Iranian - Iraqi war, the shortage of medical personnel
was so exigent that the medical group at the University of Tehran was
convened to assist with life-saving healthcare efforts at the front line.
My experiences of being in battle, saving lives, many times to a life with
a disability, has influenced me greatly. Horrific experiences whose
consequences became even clearer to me when visiting the hospitals to which my comrades were taken.
After the war, I worked for the Red Crescent (Red Cross) as a rescuer at the mountains. Due to circumstances I was forced to Sweden in 1989 after four years studying in Tehran University. I started my supplementary studies converting my Iranian pharmacist license to a Swedish licence at Uppsala University. While studying, I worked like so many other immigrants in widely varying industries such as newspaper delivery, shop assistant, baker, chef, dishwasher etcetera. until I got a job as a pharmacist with my new Swedish license.
Somewhere within me, a desire to help people more than just by dispensing drug prescriptions sprouted.
I sold off all of my belongings and went to China for studies and training in traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture. I managed this science in my own practice for a few years until my incertitude in life brought me to the construction industry in an eagerness to create and build. I successfully started a construction and renovation company and it is now that I meet Albin Sandqvist.
My name is Albin Sandqvist and together with my friend and colleague
Mike Hamidy, founded Salta Friends. Mike and I both have experiences
in life that form the basis of the idea of a business whose goals are
products for the benefit of people with disabilities and their opportunity
for a Socially Active Life Together Among Friends (SALTA Friends).
I was born in 1979 in Åkersberga just north of Stockholm in Sweden.
Early in life, it was clear that musicality was a gift I was born with.
After primary school and high school I got to experience the storming
world of the music industry, both as a member of the pop group
Star Pilots and as a solo artist with the hit; I'll Be Waiting, 2005.
In parallel with the music, I developed a mind for card games and poker.
I reached great success both nationally and internationally.
In 2011, a close relative became seriously ill. The fear and anxiety
came to change me. Something happened inside me.
After a long time in the music and gaming industry, where I always focused on myself, I felt that something was missing, probably it was at this moment that the more empathic side of me awakens. That's when I started pondering the meaning of life. Something was missing. It's no longer about winning the biggest pot or getting a big hit on the leaderboards. I realized that I want to experience satisfaction by doing something for someone else. Being able to share the joy with someone who, through my support and my help, can enjoy the many possibilities of life. Being able to make a difference.
Then I saw an advertisement for a job as a personal assistant for a young person in Täby with severe disabilities.
I gathered strength and courage, wrote an application and got the job and now i became a personal assistant! This reversal of course in my life is the most overwhelming but also the best I have done. A real job with real meaning and immediate results.
My work was rewarding and satisfying in many ways but also frustrating in others. I saw the lack of opportunities for my patience to activities, events, about community and the feeling of participation and belonging. I see the frustration of assistants, carers, family and relatives in the limitations of the disabled.
I'll do something about it!