Anna Lekas Miller is a freelance correspondent living in Lebanon.
Earlier this week, Donald Trump proposed his now-notorious policy
that the United States should ban all Muslims from entering our borders "until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on." That statement is the latest in a stream of vitriol that, as ridiculous and implausible as it is on the one hand, also reveals the extent of Islamophobia that many in the United States have ignored, and many Muslim-Americans have lived with for decades.
The statement hit on me on a particularly personal — and unique — level. First, I am a 25-year-old Arab-American. This means that 9/11 happened when I was 11 years old, and I quite literally came of age in the post-9/11 era. For me, that also meant that, overnight, I went from being part of a "model minority" class (if not white) to being positively brown. That gave way to an adult life full of extra security checks at airports and inquiries into the extent of my Middle Eastern background, despite my U.S. passport and unmistakably American-accented English.
Second, I am a foreign correspondent based in the Middle East. Over the past year, I have been working between Beirut and Istanbul, extensively covering the Syrian refugee crisis
— which is only a crisis because some passports allow for freedom of movement, and others do not (in case you missed it, Syrian passports do not).