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 🙂