Hey readers. I wanted to share something that I need to get off my chest. I’m not one to ever speak about politics, and I’m not going to start today. But I am going to speak about my feelings, and I have every right to speak on those.
I am an immigrant. I was born in Holland, lived in England till I was six when I moved to the states. I am an American and I am an Iranian. I have to say that life these past couple of days has felt a little surreal. I feel strange. I guess the best way to describe it would be to imagine that you are at an underwear party, but you’re the only person who has shown up in underwear. You know you haven’t done anything wrong, yet you feel isolated and minimized. You know you were invited to the party, but you feel like you don’t belong. That’s exactly how this ban makes me, a legal American citizen of Iranian heritage, feel. But you know what would be worse… that when you show up to the door of the party, you’re told that you can’t come in and the door is slammed in your face. So you’re left in the street with nothing but your underwear and what little dignity you might have left. I imagine that is how the people detained in airports must feel. I imagine that is how the many refugees must feel. I imagine that is how the millions of people in the 7 countries, who had dreams of coming to America, must feel. And it breaks my heart.
I woke up Saturday morning to read the news of the travel ban. My heart is hurting. I feel guilty because I am able to live in this country, but other Iranians that wish nothing else but to have the opportunity to have a life here cannot. Other Iranians that are separated from their families who are living here, no longer have the freedom to visit or move here. I ponder and think about if this travel ban was instated 30 years ago. I wouldn’t exist. My parents met each other in America. If this travel ban was in place back then, my parents would have never met and consequently never had me.
I really have no anger, just sadness and a little shock. I can’t believe that such a thing could actually be passed and put in place. My heart breaks for the refugees and for how they must feel. I worry that they think they are no longer welcome here. Oh how I want to tell them that it’s just not true; this ban doesn’t reflect the feelings and opinions of so many Americans.
But I do have hope, I choose not to lose that. I choose to believe that this reality is only temporary. Thankfully, green card holders are now able to come into the country. I hope the remainder of the ban is dissolved as well. We must not allow our faith to falter.
As we humans so many times question the reasoning for enduring injustice and adversity, I choose to remind myself to reflect on what good can come from such an ominous circumstance. In this case, it is the love and comradery that I’m seeing in Americans across the country. People of different cultures, races, and religions are banding together in unity to show their support for their immigrant neighbors and friends. The positive result of this disheartening situation is the very compassion and support flooding from the hundreds, the thousands of people.
Watching the peaceful protests makes my heart sing and my soul fill with pride. THIS is America. THIS is what I’m proud to be a part of. I am so thankful that I am witnessing this in my lifetime.
I’m proud to be an American, I’m proud to be an Iranian, and I am proud to be an immigrant. God bless all of you and God bless America.