Let’s be honest, Trump’s revised travel ban, is not much better than the original travel ban, which means this new one is slightly fucked up. However, the one thing both had in common was that they certainly appeared to cramp the new style of Iranians trapped inside Iran, who had figured out how to use the one best way they have available, to escape Iran, namely Academics.
The second most profitable natural resource Iran has, after Oil, is Academics. The top universities in the West, especially in the US, the likes of MIT and Stanford, seek out Iranian scholars like prized football and basketball players, trading a brilliant robotic engineering post doctorate, for a mathematical genius of such magnitude, it would make GoodWill stop Hunting and go back to pushing a mop.
But let’s get back to escaping from Iran.
The one thing the Iranian government did not bet on, when it suggested that young people focus on education instead of political freedom, was the evacuation effect it would have on the nation’s mindzeit, effectively draining the very brain of Iran right out from under the brainless shamans trying to run the country into the ground, using a book of quaint romantic poetry. And a sharp stick.
Iranians are nothing if not well educated. We are most definitely not Inventors. We are learners. Possibly the best learners on earth. We thirst to learn how everything works. As the great American poet Lena Dunham once said, “I simultaneously have an opinion on everything, while not giving a shit about anything.”
And that is exactly what the average Iranian uses their learning for. Nothing. In Farsi it’s having “Fahm” but not having any “Sho-oor”. This is our gift. And curse. No, You, are welcome.
But as the best way to get the fuck out of Iran, being an academic standout was a great scam to get an outstanding-student visa. And once it became known how easy it was to get out of Iran this way, once you had the slightest name brand American University after you, with a scholarship to grease the diplomatic wheels, well…
Last year there were over 12,000 Iranian nerds studying for Graduate and post Graduate degrees in American Universities. This compared to 5,000 students from the rest of the 6 banned countries. Combined.
Trump’s newest ban, will now certainly put a crimp in this exodus. Iranian opponents of the Trump ban, will no doubt use the argument that these best in a generation students are “outspoken political opponents of the Iranian government”, and by denying them entry into the US, Trump is alienating the strongest allies the US possibly has in Iran.
Which is bullshit. The last thing anyone coming out of Iran wants to do is become an outspoken opponent of anything. These openly admitting sellouts having been starved of the slightest chance for individual accomplishment and stifled from any financial success, and are blind-driven to cashing in on their academia now. They want positions in startups, salaries and stock options, and patents. Lots and lots of patents. Because someone told them you have to be paid for life, if you have them.
These kids are deservedly out for themselves now. No looking back. Saving an unsavable Iran is not the job they want. Their duty is to themselves now. Homeland is just land where your home used to be.
And now that they’ve found the easy way out of Iran, they aren’t going to let a small problem like a Trump Travel Ban get in their way.