Biography: Yan grew up in Czechoslovakia during the oppressive 1950s dreaming of freedom. He gained a masters degree in the technology of plastics and fibers and went on to be a chemical engineer. Yan, his wife and two children defected in 1984 and spent seven months in an Austrian refugee camp before coming to the U. S. Yan and his wife Nora became U.S. citizens in 1991. They live in Rhode Island and they say they are living the life they always dreamed of.

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