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The age of Trump: Days 6 and 7
Ok folks, today the madman in the White House signed an order that could mean that next time I travel outside the US (i.e. February 6th), they could bar me from entry on my return because…. I’m a legal, taxpaying resident of the United States, who happens to have been born in Iran, who carries a UK passport and has not become a US citizen. Don’t try to find any logic in it. Anyway, my concern now is how do I plan for the potential bar. Who will water my plants and empty the fridge? Should I give the plants away before I go, and empty the fridge? What about my photos? Strange to think that in 1978 we left Iran with a suitcase full of skiing clothes and school books anticipating a return after 10 days – it took seven years. That time, I messed up by not taking my Snoopy. This time I’ll be more prepared. I’m wondering what should I take, juuust in case I can’t come back.
As I ponder this, I can’t help but notice this incredibly beautiful photo of the market in Gilan. So on a beautiful day in DC when an ugly, ugly Executive Order was passed by the American president, here is my #everydaybeauty moment, thanks to Manijeh Mirdamad from the other country that kinda sorta doesn’t want us – even though I continue to see the best in all the countries I’ve lived in.
America, first lobotomized and long Kardashianized, has finally had its heart wrenched out. The Executive Order is out folks, and it’s worse than many imagined, despite all of the calls to Congress. On Twitter we are being told that as Green Card holders we should not leave the US. This is unfathomable for me right now. I told my 15 year daughter, and she sat in my lap and said, ‘but I don’t understand, you have a Green Card. How could they not let you back into the country?’
What do you say to that? To a child born in the UK, with a foot in Italy and an imagination in Iran, brought up in the US and raised on a diet of liberty, democracy and equality for all. I’m treading carefully, because we need them to maintain that ‘can-do,’ ‘can-say,’ ‘can-be’ mindset, but slowly we are realizing that the windows are shuttering and the ceiling is lowering and that vast sense of freedom and liberty is being clipped. Equality for all? Not quite – not anymore.
Sanam Naraghi-Anderlini is co-founder of the International Civil Action Society Network (ICAN). ICAN has established a network of women civil society leaders in the Middle East and North Africa who are at the frontline of tackling extremism and militarism, while promoting peace, rights and pluralism. She has been a leading international advocate, researcher, trainer and writer on conflict prevention and peace-building. She was among the civil society drafters of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security. She provides strategic guidance and training to key UN agencies, governments and NGOs worldwide, and is the author of Women Building Peace: What they do, and why it matters.