Last week, when he came online, even the low Internet speed couldn’t hide the excitement and joy in his eyes. “I came first in class and my dad got me an ipad.” He said and waved his silver ipad and the image of his glowing face and little hands enveloping his new obsession froze, so did the thought of being an Iranian and owning an ipad in my head.
Well, if you regularly follow the news of Iran-US relations, you must have heard by now that last week, an Apple store in Georgia refused to sell an Iranian girl and his uncle an ipad after hearing them speaking Farsi. The employee’s excuse was the problematic relations between the two countries.
Immediately after the news spread, here in the US, some showed their disappointment and even disgust by calling upon Apple to end the discrimination against Iranians. While others used this incident to talk about the broader scale of sanctions imposed on Iran and their impacts.
However, in Iran (our favorite spot to check out) artists, bloggers and Facebook users expressed their feelings toward Apple’s discrimination their own way:
This image went viral on Facebook and emails of Iranians calling it "The Sanctioned Apple."
See another example by the renowned Iranian cartoonist, Touka Neistani here:
A Persian Facebook’s social page called “Capturing the Best Moments” posted this picture and wrote: “After what Apple did, this is what ipad deserves to be used for.”
Later that day after contacting my nephew again, I jokingly asked my brother if he wants to come to an Apple store with me to buy an ipad. He said (seriously) only if we speak English. “No way,” I said, “we will speak Farsi on purpose!”
The irony of my nephew delighted about his ipad which after going around the sanctions had cost his father twice as much money if he were going to buy it anywhere else, while Apple denies one to another Iranian in contrast with my brother’s fear of being another victim and my--let’s say--pride in being an Iranian-American made me wonder where do people like my nephew and the Iranian girl fit in the middle of this clash: the girl who is born and raised Iranian just as she is American along with an ordinary, little boy who the only thing Apple reminds him is the joy of coming first in his class.
Why do ordinary people have to be caught in the middle of the games of governments?By Parisa Saranj, Aslan Media Columnist