Glasgow vet on Iranian passport inspired £6k fundraiser to help her and refugees
BIGOTRY AND LIES may have led to the new Muslim ban imposed on seven different nations, but solidarity and hope overcame President Trump’s policy last weekend.
Dr Hamaseh Tayari, a postgraduate veterinary student at the University of Glasgow, was denied a stop-over flight via New York as she was born in Iran – leaving her and her partner stranded due to the last-minute overhaul of US visa rules.
But after her story was reported by The Guardian, thousands of supporters came to her aid in a week witnessing protests in defiance of Trump’s immigration ban.
Led by activists in Scotland, and especially the Women For Independence (WFI) campaign group, attempts were made to contact Tayari and fund safe alternative flights home from Costa Rica. The response was overwhelming.
“Firstly, she works in Glasgow, so therefore is now Glaswegian, and you don’t cross Glaswegians.” Kathleen Caskie
Activists, local MPs, MSPs, Women for Independence, the president of the National Union of Students in Scotland and the University of Glasgow all seized the opportunity to help Tayari.
The WFI fundraiser hit its £2,600 target in around 30 minutes – with a further £3,575 raised by hundreds of donors to the Scottish Refugee Council.
WFI organiser Kathleen Caskie, who coordinated the fundraiser, said the action was to “stick two fingers up to Trump and help out Hamaseh as a gesture of solidarity”.
Caskie told The Guardian: “Firstly, she works in Glasgow, so therefore is now Glaswegian, and you don’t cross Glaswegians, and secondly, we hate Trump and, finally, our reach is such that we could raise the money by midnight tonight if she needs it.”
WFI released a further statement from Hamaseh, who managed to fly home via Spain: “I would like to say thanks somehow to all of you and the people that contributed! Thanks to get us back at home. Safe and sound and in peace!”
The fundraiser received hundreds of donors – including messages of resistance from the United States.
The Principal of the University of Glasgow, Professor Anton Muscatelli, condemned the “appalling” policy of the Trump administration – and reiterated the university’s support for diversity and solidarity.
“The free movement of people, of ideas, of intellect is surely the very hallmark of civilised society. It is in the University of Glasgow’s DNA, and always has been,” he wrote.
The Trump policy against Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen, and Somalia has led to domestic and international condemnation, a petition of over one million UK citizens against Trump, and worldwide protests.
Yesterday (Monday 30 January) tens of thousands gathered across the UK and Scotland to protest the ban with 7,000 being reported in Edinburgh alone. The UK Government in response has refused to categorically oppose or condemn the ban but pointed to a concession by the US administration for UK nationals entering the US.
Picture courtesy of AvadaKedavra
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