What color is your passport?

Living in a cosmopolitan atmosphere has led me to notice a few differences between nations. Never can I generalize people only by their nationality. But undoubtedly only an Iranian can understand what it feels like to be nervous for several months in a row just worrying about a visa. How it feels like when your passport lets you only visit a handful number of places just because you were born in Iran. I don’t sit on judgment here. I’ve done my experiment talking to an Italian about this for example. And getting the response: “What do you exactly mean when you say it is hard to get a visa? How is it possible that a student’s visa get rejected while he has an acceptance letter from a university?”

That’s what I am talking about. Surely someone holding a Schengen passport would not get it at all!!!

When you’re Iranian, going abroad is kind of fancy. Not only is it usually hard but also expensive. And that’s all because you were born there. This always reminds me of what George Orwell once said: “all animals are equal but some of them are more equal than others.” It is a fact that we are all alike but some of us, for instance, can’t get vaccinated because there is no Covid vaccine while at the same moment some others are protesting against the government for making a green pass mandatory in their country.

According to my nine-month experience living abroad, people are prone to see my country worse than what it really is, which is truly disappointing. I don’t normally attempt to glamorize my country. I just sometimes want them to know how it really is other than believing in the illusion that the media has fed them with. It seems unfair to blame what they think as they are just unaware and I have no idea how I would have been if I were in their shoes. But it still feels so sad sometimes and it is hard to explain the truth to every single individual that I meet. 

I have seen many American celebrities pointing out inequalities which makes them seem cool and adored. On the contrary, I can’t complain about these inequalities without making other people taking pity on me! The truth is that I might even have a better life compared to some of my international friends in terms of having a very good family, good financial status, or social level, but when it comes to visas or national discrimination, I would probably be on top of the worst conditions. I don’t want anyone to feel sorry for me. It is bothering if another person looks down on me for the bad things that happened to me because of my nationality. I just don’t want to be ashamed of something which is not my choice. What I want is to speak up the reality and to do something for it, if that’s possible. For this reason, I don’t understand when I am put in shame after sharing these things.

I think I still can’t accept the fact that my rights as a person who was born in Iran differ greatly from the one who was born in a western country. I don’t get why this has to be this way. Why should I struggle for getting my residence permit after 7 months of being here while someone with the same major, same abilities, same gender, and even same age do not need to go through these bureaucracies just because of having a different color passport than mine?

Getting a visa or studying in another country are my rights. They are not something that I have to fight for. I feel like the one who is still fighting to get the basic rights and I can’t understand why even do I have to earn my rights?

Let me know about this. What do you think of my country? And how do you feel when I told you a bit about my problems concerning my nationality? Have you ever encountered the same issues because of your nationality?

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