Fair warning: It’s hard not to feel a mixture of anger, sadness, and despair while watching this one.
Hameed Darweesh, an Iraqi man who previously worked with American soldiers as an interpreter, has finally been released from JFK International Airport after being detained there overnight in response to Donald Trump’s sudden and complete ban on refugees from Muslim nations. Darweesh was joining his family in the United States after it was determined that staying in Iraq was putting his life in danger thanks to his aid for the U.S. army. (At least one former soldier reported that he owed his life to Darweesh and other interpreters who helped his unit while stationed in Iraq.)
Other Muslims still remained locked inside JFK, facing deportation, but Darweesh managed to be released. Just outside of the airport he gave his first comments on his ordeal. It was at parts bone-crushingly sad and surprisingly uplifting. From his comments it’s clear that there is perhaps nobody in the world who loves American more than a guy like Darweesh.
— Colin Jones (@colinjones) January 28, 2017
“First of all, I want to thank the people that take care of me and support me. They [left] their family, their business, and they’ve come to support me. This is humanism. This is the soul of America. This is what pushed me to leave my country and come here. And I’m very, very thankful.
And always, even still now, we know that America is the land of freedom. The land of the light.”
Perhaps Darweesh is being being too kind. Right now, many Americans are feeling a deep sense of shame for Trump’s betrayal of many of the sacred values the country is supposed to represent.
It should also be noted that while Darweesh got out, CNN is reporting that at least another dozen Muslims are still in a Trump-created purgatory. Other Muslims are in similarly dire situations across the country.
Featured image via CNN