I'm a Legal, Iranian Muslim Immigrant and I live in the United States of America. I work hard, pay my taxes, obey the rules, yet I'm being discriminated against.
This is my family. My Iranian family who were supposed to be united with us here in the states very soon.
From left: That's my maman, the woman who I owe my life to, the woman who have taught me everything I know and took me to English lessons since I was a little girl, to learn a language that many years later would help me understand a man that happened to be my husband.
Next to my maman, the man with the bright smile and the happiest eyes, that's my baba. He is the strongest man in the world, the most hard working person you will ever meet. He started working when he was 10 and has been working so hard since. He has always done more than enough to provide for the family. He has the most beautiful soul and the most generous heart.
The love between my parents is like a fairy tale.
In my baba's arms is my niece. The little girl who has brought so much joy and happiness since 2013. She speaks English pretty well even though both her parents are Iranians.
That's my brother. The only sibling I have. This guy taught me how to play soccer, how to play video games, what to look for in a device when I plan to get a new one, and supported me fully when I decided to move to Istanbul.
Next to her, that's my brother's wife, close to me as much as a sister. The peace and joy that she brings to a room when she walks in is undeniable. Her smile brightens up every room.
And this is only one of the hundreds of thousands of families that are being torn apart now by being banned from entering the U.S.
My baba with my brother and my husband. My husband is like a son to him. My baba always says he is so blessed that I'm married to a man who has nothing less than an angel, who treats her daughter the best way possible and who brings so much joy to the family.
My husband is a miracle. He is very dedicated and hard working. He is my best friend and has always been by my side no matter what. He has been spending every single second of the day with me in the last 5 days since we heard our road to our family reunion will be bumpier than usual.
I moved to the United States in 2015 as a Legal Iranian Muslim immigrant, and I was accepted just the way I am. I started my food blog here in the US and asked my fellow bloggers, most of whom are Americans, to help me figure out this whole food blog thing. From recipe writing to food photography.
Not once I was treated different from the others, not once my questions were ignored and not once, whereas online or in conferences, I was ignored because I was an Iranian Muslim immigrant. I worked hard on my blog, published my first cookbook and this all happened with the support of my husband, my family, and my friends in the blogging community and out.
And now I'm facing discrimination because of my nationality and my religion. I'm being discriminated against even though I'm legal. But it will not stay this way, my family and us will reunite one way or another, here or somewhere else, because from now on, to us, home is where we are all together.
And to the person who broke hearts of many people: You may have banned people from entering, but my book has all my family love and family recipes in it. People will make the recipes, love the recipes, and there will be a little bit of me and my family love in every house that has just a little bit of saffron and rose water. Because we spread love, not hate 🙂
I have the same problem but the opposite direction. I am an American that was denied a visa to visit my friends and family in Iran.
I'm so so sorry. I don't know you at all but read your blog. I'm hope your family will be able to join you soon and I hope beyond hope that you know how many people deeply disagree with this move. It crushes me that you are separated from your family for even 1 day longer than necessary!
Thank you for you very kind work Leigh <3 We know that these days will pass and we will all reunite, and we know that many people disagree with what's happening, that's what keeps our hearts warm <3 Thank you so much for you kind comment and I hope to see you around here for much happier posts! <3
heather (delicious not gorgeous)
i'm so, so sorry. know that there are so many people rooting for you and your family, and that there are so many people fighting to make america the welcoming place we know it to be.
Thank you Heather, we are hopeful because the people that I know, my friends and colleagues in the US, are amazing people and I know together, we can win this
Clara Song Lee
Shadi, this is a beautiful post, and one that breaks my heart because I know how much you love your family. It was so wonderful to be able to work with you on your cookbook and to hear you talk about how much you love your parents, your brother and his family, your husband and your husband's family, too. We loved being able to look through your family photos and insert them into the sidebars, and I especially love how kind your parents were when we asked you to send a photo of them drinking tea together. They were so smiley and warm in their photo!! I love my family fiercely, too, and I would be devastated if I were not able to reunite with them whenever I needed. I truly hope that what we are witnessing today with the Trump administration ends soon, and that we can all rise up and come together to overwhelm the forces of hate, bigotry, ignorance, and fear that is currently poisoning the world. Thank you again for sharing your story with the world, and shine on, bright diamond!
Clara you comment means the world to us. We are so grateful that we got to know you and work with you and that was one of the best professional experiences I've ever had. I can't wait to have my parents hold the cookbook in their hands! It's so heart warming to have your support, I hope you have your family by your side all the time and I can have mine as soon as possible, too. I know we will reunite, one way or another <3
Shadi reading this brought tears to my eyes! Please know that I am there for you, and good will always overcome the bad. Hoping these dark days are over soon. Lots of love to you, my bestie! :*
Thanks love 🙂 Good will always overcome the bad 🙂
Shadi, I'm so sorry to hear about what you're family is going through. I hope you will be reunited soon. I also hope the leaders of our country realize that continuing down their current trajectory will damage the nation and all of its members for years to come. We need to bring people together, not push them apart.
Thank you Fany, it's because of the support we receive from Americans that we keep having hope. I hope everyone can live in peace <3
Thank you for sharing. I am so sorry about how this situation is impacting you and so many others, I can only say that I am heartened by the response and hopefully things will change sooner rather than later for the better. I am also glad to hear that you have had a positive experience in the blogging community - I like to hope we see the value in learning, sharing and supporting. I know I for one feel the need to have even more of an international focus in what I share; we are all better through diversity and understanding.
Thank you Caroline. My experience in blogging community has been amazing. I love my fellow bloggers and I learn something new every day. I hope things get better day by day for all of us.
Thank you for your bravery in sharing this post. I'm typing in tears for you and yours and every family affected by the climate in our country and everything that has happened in the last week. Please know there are so very many of us reading and talking and learning and marching and doing everything we can to offer our support. And we are infinitely better as a country to have you here.
Meaghan, thank you for your sweet comment, I have received so much love and support these days and it makes me have hope, that my family and I will reunite soon <3
Unfortunately a lot of people seem to think that actions like this are the quick answer to what are difficult and long term international problems. Today it is you and your fellow Iranians who are the scapegoats, and who knows whose turn it will be tomorrow. These are scary times we live in and I wish you and your beautiful family all the best.
Thank you Lisa, you are right, we are the firsts, but if this doesn't stop here, it will take all of us.
Shadi, your baba, maman, and entire family's smiles made me smile, but also tear up because I'm so heartbroken about everything that's going on. I'm so sorry. This discrimination is unacceptable and I will do whatever I can to fight it.
That means the world to us Kimberly, I'm sure hope and love wins in the end, I hope we win this soon
Mel | avirtualvegan.com
I am sorry this is happening to you and your family and all the other poor families. I keep thinking I am going to wake up and find Trump being elected was a nightmare.
Such a lovely post, and congratulations on your cookbook deal. Sorry it has been tainted by these awful goings on.
I hope you get to be with your family very soon. Until then keep spreading the love ❤️.
Thank you Mel, I hope a day comes when we are all happy and with our families and no borders 🙂
Dini @ The Flavor Bender
I love this Shadi and I'm so glad you wrote this! Stay strong and we all know love and hope wins in the end! Keep fighting back and we will fight with you!
I had to get it out Dini, and I hope more people do. We will get what we deserve <3
Christine | Vermilion Roots
This is such a great post. Thank you for sharing. I'm sorry about what's going on now. It's so heartbreaking. I really admire your spirit. You're an inspiration!
Thank you Christine. We're not losing hope and we'll keep fighting back!