At the 89th Academy Awards in Los Angeles, Iranian-American Anousheh Ansari accepted the Best Foreign Language Film award for The Salesman on behalf of Iranian director Asghar Farhadi. While the spotlight was on Farhadi's absence at the ceremony due to Trump's travel ban, a timely political statement, Ansari herself is rather deserving of recognition at such a global stage.
The first Muslim woman as well as the first Iranian to reach space, astronaut Ansari was not only the perfect candidate to read out Farhadi's strongly worded acceptance speech, but her presence at the Oscars in itself was a direct challenge to American president Donald Trump.
"I'm sorry I'm not with you tonight. My absence is out of respect for the people of my country and those of other six nations who have been disrespected by the inhumane law that bans entry of immigrants to the US," read Farhadi's message, as voiced by Ansari.
The award is Farhadi's second Oscar after his win for A Separation in 2012.
Catch met with Ansari at the 2016 edition of Jaipur Literature Festival, and incidentally, she spoke about the blurring of borders from space, a direct contradiction with the bigoted travel ban.