Seattle Startup Worker Can’t Return Home
Over the weekend as news broke about President Trump’s unprecedented immigration ban, Nazannin Zinouri became one of the most talked about cases. The 29 year old, is a data modeler for Seattle based startup Modjoul. The company has created a wearable to help keep employees safe and productive.
ABC News reports that Zinouri left for Tehran from the Atlanta Hartsfield airport on Friday. When she finally arrived in Tehran to spend time with friends and family, she began hearing about the immigration ban. She immediately turned her attention to flying home to the United States.
The weather in Tehran was bad. It was snowy and foggy. Zinouri was able to book a flight back to the United States but was only able to get as far as Dubai. She was not allowed to board a flight to Washington DC to get back home.
Like many approved foreign nationals, Zinouri was worried about the simple things many take for granted, like what’s going to happen to her service dog or the car she has parked at the airport. She was also worried about the future of her job, however Modjoul co-founder Eric Martinzez has been nothing but supportive.
Modjoul made calls and did extensive research looking for every avenue possible to bring Zinouri back home.
Zinouri arrived in the United States in August of 2010. She earned a Master’s degree from Northern Illinois University and then earned a PhD in industrial engineering from Clemson. Her first job after her PhD was for Modjoul. Martinez described Zinouri as “the smartest lady I know.”
Modjoul is starting a fundraising campaign for Zinouri and others affected by the President’s Executive Order. It also seems that Zinouri’s job is going to be safe when she returns.
She was again denied entry back to the United States and flew back to Tehran to wait out the immigration crisis.
Everyone has seen how this has affected the tech giants like Apple, Facebook, Google, Uber, Lyft and Amazon. It’s also affecting the startups of the world that have relied on top talent from some of the banned countries to fuel their growth.