In a letter sent earlier this morning, IAAB's Board President and Executive Director asked that Tim Cook, Apple's CEO, rectify the recent and unfortunate events surrounding an Apple Branch's refusal to sell items to a former IAAB participant. The Camp Ayandeh alum is a 19-year-old Iranian American student at the University of Georgia who was denied service after an employee heard her speaking in Persian with her uncle. The story garnered a great deal of attention after becoming viral earlier this week. The student expressed to IAAB the negative backlash she now faces both privately and publicly through entities such as WSB TV's Facebook page.
IAAB urges the Iranian American community to show its support in a number of ways including:
Letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook
Dear Mr. Cook,
We are sure that you have by now heard the news regarding a college student being refused service at an Apple Store in Georgia for speaking Persian with her uncle while attempting to purchase Apple products. The Apple employee cited corporate policy regarding the restriction of exportation of Apple products to Cuba, Iran, North Korea, and Syria as a result of U.S. sanctions. The customer, a 19-year-old University of Georgia student and former IAAB participant, was purchasing an iPhone and an iPad as a gift for a family member. The overzealous Apple Sales Associate and Store Manager made a reckless and hurtful decision based on xenophobic and discriminatory views regarding Iranian Americans. Unfortunately, our student's experience is not an isolated incident as other Iranian Americans have reported similar shameful acts in various Apple stores.
As avid Apple users, we are deeply disappointed by the conduct of your employees and are positive that a company employing Iranian Americans will rectify the recent discriminatory acts against Iranian Americans. Customers who speak Persian, Arabic, Korean, Spanish or any other language should receive the same level of service. The ethnic identities of your customers should not dictate how your company treats loyal consumers who have helped make Apple one of the largest and most recognized brands in the world.
On behalf of Iranian Alliances Across Borders (IAAB), a 501c3 nonprofit organization that empowers Iranian American students to be vocal advocates and active contributing members within American society, we ask that you uphold the rights of our student as a consumer. Your Alpharetta branch's rogue decision has negatively impacted her and caused subsequent hostile backlash, which she continues to face since the story went viral. We call upon you to clarify Apple's policy and to ensure that all Apple branches follow corporate protocol when dealing with customers of all backgrounds.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Thank you for your time,
President, Board of Advisors
About Iranian Alliances Across Borders (IAAB) - IAAB is a 501(c)(3) non-partisan, non-profit volunteer organization with a young, dedicated staff spread across the United States, Europe and Iran. The mission of the organization is to address issues of the Iranian diaspora community while raising awareness of the Iranian community, promoting leadership, and connecting Iranians across borders. For more information about IAAB, please visit www.iranianalliances.org.
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