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The Muslim Ban from an Iranian-American Perspective

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America was the land of opportunity for Keemya Esmael’s parents, who came from the revolutionary Iran to the United States for refuge and education. Now, Esmael feels like she’s witnessing America going backwards with the new executive order put out by President Trump banning immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries, including Iran.

Esmael argues that the seven countries affected were not involved in the attack on September 11th, 2001 while Saudi Arabia, the United State’s largest oil contributor and also where most of the terrorists originated from, is not one of the countries banned. “To me, this ban is purely racist and based on the United States or rather, Trump’s relationship with the seven countries,” Esmael said. “Iran and the United States have always had a rocky relationship, but that doesn’t mean innocent people have to suffer.”

But the main reason this ban is troubling to her is the way Syrian refugees are being treated. Esmael believes the United States is repeating their greatest shame, denying Jewish refugees to come to America during the Holocaust because they were considered threats by the U.S. government. “Why would you assume people afraid to live in their own homes are trying to hurt people?” Esmael said. “People in Syria are suffering. They have nothing, they are scared for their lives and as a world power, instead of welcoming these people, America is being so offensive and is letting innocent people die.”

“I just don’t think banning people from a whole country is justified,” Esmael said. “Our country was built on immigrants, our founders were immigrants. Whether you like it or not, white people in this country are immigrants. This executive order feels like a huge, huge step backwards and is against everything our country was built on.” 

Esmael and many others across the country, although not being directly affected, will not stop fighting for what is right.

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10 Comments

10 Responses to “The Muslim Ban from an Iranian-American Perspective”

  1. Dagfinn Habbestad on February 25th, 2017 3:58 pm

    Hi Ava,
    Your article is very well written; in fact, much better than what I normally read in news articles.
    I like the way you start with Kimya’s story and then paint a bigger picture with both present situation and historically US policies.
    Here in Norway we are worried for the direction Trump is leading US.
    Good luck onwards!

    [Reply]

  2. Naghmeh Keshavarzi-R on February 25th, 2017 4:43 pm

    Amazing article so well written and said about the racists executive order.
    To divide people based on their background, race or religion is barbaric.
    We don’t need this division.

    I really enjoyed this article, as it shows the honesty and action of young people who wants to build the better future for their country based on unity.
    Greetings from Norway, the land of peace and equality.

    [Reply]

  3. Mozhgan Savabieasfahani on February 25th, 2017 8:15 pm

    This is a wonderful journalistic opinion column by a young woman who cares about her fellow human beings and countrymen. She belongs on the New York Times editorial page and in the White House.

    I also left a comment on Facebook but it seems to not be showing up underneath this article. Thank you again for such an excellent opinion piece!

    [Reply]

  4. Viknesvari on February 25th, 2017 9:31 pm

    Keep standing for your truth, my love!

    [Reply]

  5. Sigrid on February 26th, 2017 9:42 am

    I hope America realizes this is no more than an act of fear, fear for the unknown, fear of what might be, fear of terrorism, etc. Banning a whole nation because of a few with bad intentions is not solving the problem but making it a bigger one. In this way you enlarge the wrong assumptions, the wrong prejudices. This is exactly what those terrorists want: speading fear and hatred, divide the world…We should stick together and defeat those who want to spread hatred into the world. We are much stronger if we shake hands with our muslim brothers and sisters to drive out darknesd together, our common enemy. You cannot drive out darkness by darkness and hate, only love can do that, common sense…let’s transcend our race, our tribe, our class, our nation to have peace in the world and develop a world perpective based on respect. Did we not learn our lesson? how many have been killed to – so called ‘protecting’ one’s tribe, one’s nation: holocaust, genocide in Bosnia, genocide in Rwanda, and many more. Did it bring peace?

    [Reply]

  6. Helen on February 26th, 2017 6:27 pm

    I agree with this article and all its points wholeheartedly! The hypocrisy of of banning immigrants in the first place when as Keemya points out anyone not a native American is an immigrant is shameful. Of course not banning immigration from where the terrorists came and banning other countries is insane. Yes, this is a backwards step and needs to continue to be protested.

    [Reply]

  7. Kamran pirouzi on February 26th, 2017 11:50 pm

    Nice Article Kimya jaan
    Immigrants made This country and immigrants protect and support This country This country is our second home .

    [Reply]

  8. Bill on February 27th, 2017 1:22 pm

    Sound and sensible immigration policies are necessary for the stability of any nation. However, the idea of banning whole nations seems to me to be unsound, vindictive and prejudicial. Such bans are attempts to create fear and division. They are born of ignorance and intolerance. We need policies that bring people and nations together, policies that lead to greater understanding and the acknowledgement that immigrants make huge contributions to our economies.

    [Reply]

  9. Ruth on February 28th, 2017 3:45 pm

    We are all immigrants, in some way, in all of our diverse histories. Stay strong and know that many, many people in the world count on brave voices to speak aloud what they feel they cannot.

    [Reply]

  10. Neeca on March 1st, 2017 10:49 am

    A well written article that accurately points out the many flaws of this ban. Keep sharing your stories and fighting for what is right.

    [Reply]

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