One of the benefits I am grateful to receive as an OX employee, is our global presence and working with, and getting to know all of you. Our interactions, professional and personal, give me so much more world insight and I am grateful for having a broader horizon because I have been able to experience different cultures and travel to Europe for company functions. For me in particular, traveling to Europe several times last year afforded me the ability to rekindle a friendship with a cousin and his family who live in Belgium. It has enriched my life tremendously to reconnect with them and also provides me context into my heritage from Iraq, which I know so very little about.
What I’m about to share isn’t with the intent to debate politics. I feel compelled to tell this story because so often now what we see on the news isn’t really appreciated until it impacts us directly. I love our message about the foundation of OX: building business on freedom and trust. That is who we are as OXen. And while this news isn’t impacting our business yet, it is impacting our people and I felt it was my duty to share exactly how the recent executive order is directly changing the world for me and my family. Obviously there are many, many others suffering in far more egregious ways, and my heart goes out to them.
My cousin and his family were planning to visit me in early 2017 and now they can’t. Why? Because he is a UK citizen and also holds an Iraqi passport. While it still remains confusing exactly what the executive order allows and does not allow, our plans are now on hold.
As if this weren’t personal enough for me already, I can’t help but consider that if this ban were in place when my father came to the states, I wouldn’t have been born. And it should be noted my father is the epitome of the American dream. He came to the States from Iraq, after getting his PhD in London. Over his career, he developed technologies and brought $54M from China, Japan and other countries to hire hundreds of fellow Americans, create businesses, and contribute to the American innovative spirit. He now holds 50 USA patents. I couldn’t be more proud to be raised by a man who recognized America for what it has been and always should be: a country where dreams are possible and where you can work hard, achieve and provide for your family. I am despondent thinking these values are no longer being represented by my country. And now I realize I can no longer simply complain, I must somehow get involved and do my part as an American to make sure these values stay within our core.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. I’d love the chance to discuss this with you at any time and would appreciate hearing your thoughts and counsel as we all proceed forward into this administration.
Director of Sales Americas