‘It’s just not acceptable’: BU florist’s Iranian owner speaks out against Trump’s Muslim ban

We will certainly need some flower power in these times

After an intense backlash from the American public and the courts of Justice all over the country, Trump’s travel and immigration ban has been the subject of many rectifications and revisions from the White House administration – and no one seems to know exactly in which direction it is going.

This week, while planning to redraft the ban, the administration declared that for legal and diplomatic concerns such as the fight against ISIS, Iraq was removed from the targeted seven countries list.

Current visa holders and legal permanent residents (green card holders) will also be exempted.

However, amidst this sea of change and apparent relaxation of the restrictions, the ban still prevents many categories of future visa holders and religious minorities from entering the country at their convenience.

The Boston City Florist

Boston City Florist, 714 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston. Photo by Alice Ferre

If you have ever walked by Warren Towers on your way to get Insomnia Cookies or to rush to your CAS class, you probably noticed the little, dark green boutique with a welcoming entrance. This beautiful store with its stairs always surrounded by flowers, is the Boston City Florist.

Although a lot of Terriers know the shop, few have ever met the owner of this flower wonderland, Nick Sabokrooh.

Sabokrooh is from the city of Shiraz, located in the southern part of Iran. He immigrated to the United States in 1977 at the age of 13, as his father completed his physics studies at Harvard University.

However, his family never had the opportunity to go back to Iran, as the country mired in turmoil for the next following years. In 1979, the Iranian revolution ousted the Shah and brought to power Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and the Islamic Republic of Iran.

In 1980, Iraq, backed up by Russia, invaded Iran in an ongoing conflict of eight years.

Away from the chaos, Sabokrooh and his family began their new lives in the U.S.

Outside of Boston City Florist on Commonwealth Ave. Photo by Ezgi Toper

But now 40 years after he moved out of Shiraz, Sabokrooh is forced to see the United States reject his motherland and his people.

When asked about President Trump’s ban and its consequences, Sabokrooh said that “it is the most ridiculous thing ever done. It is a very surprising and totally unjustified decision. It’s not right.”

Even though his parents and family live in the United States, a part of his extended family, including his uncles, aunts, and cousins still live in Iran. He pointed out the unfairness of the ban, which will deprive him from seeing his family members.

“If my family wants to come, they would have a hard time,” said Sabokrooh. “It’s just not acceptable.”

The travel ban also discriminates citizens of certain countries, including tourism and medical treatment visa holders from the category B-2.

The next legal procedures concerning the ban may also put the U.S. at stake: The ban highly offended the Iranians and time will certainly not heal things for once.

Feature image courtesy of terrier Kat Muraviyova