Photo by: Lili Kibel

Dear President Trump

At the young age of sixteen my father left his hometown of Cairo, Egypt, a heavily Muslim populated country, to find the type of success that would last him a lifetime. After working many years in Europe, he finally had enough money to pay for a flight to America. Oddly enough, he landed a job at the Trump hotel in New York as the director of food and beverage. My father commends you, as you knew he was a Muslim man however never brought that up in your brief interactions. However when he found out you were banning Muslims from our country he described it as,” hurtful, demeaning, and unconstitutional.” My father along with many other successful Muslims in America do not think the way you are approaching this country’s issue with terrorism is proper or mature.

Over the past few weeks, I decided to interview fellow citizens in the Los Angeles area to prove that it is not just my father and myself that are extremely against this ban. I conducted my interviews in Grand Park as well as the Los Angeles arts district and talked to people of every age and ethnicity. The first man I spoke to was a young man named Isaac Andrews, 22, and a law attorney. Throughout our brief interview, he discussed that his family friends would not be able to fly in to Los Angeles for their annual Thanksgiving dinner due to the ban and went on to say,” That isn’t fair, these people have no connection to terrorism yet they aren’t allowed in to this country. That’s unconstitutional.” Another man described the ban as “ something out of a movie.” Specifically, “ a futuristic movie where the land of the free turns into a country ruled by 140 characters.” Clearly the response you are getting is negative so why go through with this?

After my time on the streets in Los Angeles, I decided to expand my pallet and look online to see if California was just being as democratic as it is known to be. This was not the case. A woman from Tehran by the name of Homa Tafreshi posted her story on Facebook that talked about “ the heart wrenching struggle her family will now have to endure because of the ban.” Home has a young daughter that was going to America for a heart surgery however due to the ban was not able to board the plane. President Trump, you have a family of your own and I know if any of them needed the slightest medical attention you would serve them immediately, so why are you restricting another family of this?

Another reason this ban is hurting more than it is helping is because the people you are banning are willing to do the job others are not. Ahmed el Otaba said in an interview, “ How many white men do you see standing on the corners in New York City selling hotdogs and roasted nuts. None. I’ll tell you that now.” Although you may have a private driver and a multitude of cars, Mr. Trump, many tourists coming to New York use yellow cabs to get around. Mohammad Sheifi, a taxi driver in New York said, “ All of us [ taxi drivers] are family. Brothers. I’m from Libya the guy next to me is from Syria. All we do all day is drive around tourists and that’s it. But because a few extremist Muslims I am not allowed to see my friends or family? That does not make sense to me. What about the white terrorists? Why are we ignoring all the non Muslim school shootings that happen here? Should we have banned anyone from Austria or Germany after Hitler?” I do not think that your thought process with banning Muslims from these countries is right. You have made racist, insensitive, and embarrassing remarks publically and it is a shame you are the person representing this country.

To conclude, I hope that seeing the success Muslim immigrants have brought to the states encourages you to rethink your choice of the Muslim ban.

Best, Sabrina Aziz