Nazannin Zinouri Returns To United States
When President Trump’s temporary ban on allowing people from seven, majority Muslim countries went into affect, Nazannin Zinouri had just arrived back home in Tehran for a brief family visit. Zinouri is a data modeler, working for a Seattle based startup, at their Clemson office. Once she arrived back home in Tehran she was trapped. She tried to get back to the United States, but could only make it as far as Dubai.
Zinouri isn’t just any ordinary woman from Iran that made her way to the United States. She earned a Master’s Degree from Northern Illinois University. After that she earned a PhD in industrial engineering from Clemson. She then joined Modjoul as a data modeler. Modjoul co-founder, Eric Martinez called Zinouri “the smartest lady I know”.
From all accounts Martinez is one of those startup executives truly committed to the welfare of his team members. Over the last week, getting Zinouri back to the US was his top priority. He appealed to embassy’s, Congress and anyone who would listen to help Zinouri and others like her that were legitimately here, contributing the tax base and taking advantage of the ideals that America was set up with.
U.S Senator Lindsey Graham (R) SC, visited with the staff at Modjoul’s Clemson office, while Zinouri was still caught in limbo. “She’s a valid visa holder. She’s paying taxes, and she’s adding value to this business,” he said at Modjoul, a startup technology firm where Zinouri has worked since August. “She’s intelligent. She adds value to our country, and I’ll find a way to fix this problem.”he said last week.
Zinouri and Martinez caught a break when Seattle based US District Judge James Robart issued a restraining order, temporarily nullifying the ban.
Zinouri was able to act swiftly and catch a flight to the United States. Martinez reported on Sunday that his now famous employee is safe on US soil having cleared customs at Boston’s Logan airport. She is due back in South Carolina Monday and well return to work.
“The last 48 hours have felt a lot longer than 48 hours,” she told Greenville television station WHNS “It was chaos, it was a lot stress, it was a lot of shock and it was hearing the rumors, and then going from the rumors to actually something happening that would possibly affect my entire life and trying to somehow address the problem.”
Many other tech employees, startup employees, students and professors have been able to safely re-enter the United States after a late night hail mary on the part of President Trump, was rejected by the court of appeals on Saturday evening.