How Trump Made Iran Great Again

This past week was painful for many of us. My latest piece for Muftah and the Huffington Post is titled “How Trump Made Iran Great Again” but it’s really a love letter to all of the *non*-Iranians and *non*-Muslims who rushed to the defense of grandmothers and 5-year-olds, held under lock and key at our nation’s airports.

“When Iran sends its people, it sends its best. The New York Times reports that colleges and universities in the U.S. hosted about 17,000 students from the seven banned countries last year. Of those who came here last year, more than 12,000 were Iranian nationals. Many of these same Iranians featured prominently in the coverage this past week, their stories a roll call of accomplishment. Mixed in with the many grandparents, parents, and retirees who make the long and melancholy journey from Iran to be with their family here in the States…

…For Iranian-Americans watching events unfold at home, many of whom are old enough to remember when being from Iran carried an aura of glamour and prestige, only to be lost completely in revolution and an American embassy held hostage, the sight of so many “real Americans,” amrikaiha ye asil, rushing to the defense of Iranians and other Muslims has been dizzying, to say the least. Not since the protests of the 2009 Green Movement have Iranians been so visible, or taken so seriously as individuals with ambitions that lie beyond the usual narrative threads of the veil, the pursuit of jihad, or the destruction of Israel. It is a peculiar and particularly satisfying twist of fate that authoritarians in the US and Iran have managed to restore the reputation of millions. By their actions, they have made ordinary Iranians great again.”

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