March 7, 2017

America’s Strength is Her Diversity

Jewish Muslim Fathers Travel Ban

Donald Trump’s executive order to ban travel to the US from countries that are majority Muslim, threatens our American diversity, has compelled me to re-visit “Little Women of Baghlan,” and explore the reasons why I wrote it.

I began the project by writing about a personal story—a young woman who joins the Peace Corps. And so by definition, it is a story about tolerance and acceptance. It is about sacrifice. Ultimately, it is about love.

But her story is also about a time in America when the best and brightest young Americans gave up two years of their lives to live in another country. They taught, established hospitals, and dug wells. And yet, their work paled in comparison to what they learned–that deep down we are all the same. We laugh and cry. We love. All of us want a safe home, an education for our children, and the freedom to practice our religion.

As we enter a new era in our nation’s history—one fueled by bigotry, fear, and ultimately, hate—her story is more important than ever.

My America is generous and welcoming. I refuse to allow myself or my country to be defined by racist, xenophobic policies that undermine our moral credibility.