The year 2020 is still in its infancy, yet it’s already been marked by a slew of troubling events near and far — from gun violence in St. Louis, to devastating wildfires in Australia, to dramatically escalating tensions between the U.S. and Iran.
Many Americans may feel far removed from violence and loss in another part of the world, despite direct U.S. involvement, and everyday life goes on. But for those with loved ones based in volatile, vulnerable places, or who have deep cultural ties to a country such as Iran, the latest round of disturbing headlines can carry a lot more weight.
St. Louisan Jaleh Fazelian, who lived in Iran as a small child, felt a wave of worry after America’s assassination of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani and Iran’s ensuing attacks on U.S. bases in Iraq — and the accounts from Iranian Americans who said they were detained for hours last week along the U.S.-Canada border. She wondered what’s next, both in terms of potential war and when it comes to questioning people’s citizenship.