After Donald Trump’s revised travel ban was implemented in late June, certain grandparents, grandchildren, cousins, aunts, and uncles in six Muslim-majority countries were banned from visiting their relatives living in the U.S. In response, Iranian-American analyst Holly Dagres tweeted a photo of herself with her late Iranian grandmother with the hashtag #GrandparentsNotTerrorists. The next day, on June 30, the Instagram account Banned Grandmas was born, the Guardian reports.
With pictures curated by Dagres and posted by a friend of hers, the account takes on the Trump travel ban by showcasing sweet pictures of some of the many grandparents who are now banned from entering the country. Dagres told the Guardian that the account was started to “keep the momentum and remind people that this ban is ongoing and ridiculous” — including the ban’s rule that citizens of affected countries can’t enter the U.S. without a “credible claim of a bona fide” or close relationship with a person already in the country.
The Instagram account includes images of grandparents who can’t enter the country, with captions like “Happy Friday! Here are a couple of dangerous(ly cute) banned grandparents,” and “@kimiacali27’s grandparents are banned from the US … FOR BEING TOO GODDAMN IN LOVE AFTER ALL THESE YEARS????!??”
Dagres told the Guardian that she believes grandparents are “the perfect face” of the hashtag and account because the travel ban doesn’t achieve its purported aim of combating terrorism, as not one of the 9/11 hijackers were nationals of the affected countries. “Everyone loves their grandparents and what they represent: traditions and history,” she said. “I don’t think anyone has ever heard of a 95-year-old Farhad or 82-year-old Maryam committing an act of terrorism.”