Time And Time Again

"...It was a forced exile..."

Emery F.

Torang Vincent: Immigrated from Iran

December 16, 2019

Torang talks about her decision. “It was a forced exile”. She says to me. I turn red, feeling bad that I called it immigration again, “I could have stayed but I wouldn’t have gotten an education until the war was over”. I think about the wars still going on. 

She describes leaving at age 17 to go to a new country. “Imagine in four years, you left home to go somewhere completely new”. She talks about getting over fears, going through family problems, and dealing with frustrating situations, until eventually, the conversation changes to success in business, accomplishments, having a family and loving America.

 I expect her to finish here and end with the usual happy ending, but she goes on. She begins to talk about current events. Her voice shifts to slight frustration at the words she says.  “You can’t just put all immigrants under an umbrella”. My thoughts go to me making the mistake time and time again about calling it immigration when she prefers it to be called a forced exile. “A lot of them are so desperate and have so much to offer”. I think about her and her successful company. “You cant just close a border and keep everybody out”. She looks me softly in the eyes. I nod.