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Palestinian Student Set to Attend Harvard has Visa Revoked

Palestinian Student Set to Attend Harvard has Visa Revoked

Ismail B. Ajjawi is a Palestinian student who lives in Lebanon. With the help of the organization, AMIDEAST, Ajjawi had been accepted into Harvard and planned on beginning his education at the school this fall.

Omar Rawlings/picture alliance via Getty Images

But once the student arrived at Boston’s Logan Airport, he was detained by immigration officials for questioning. After hours of questions, Ajjawi’s Visa was revoked and he was sent back home.

Shortly after the questions began, officials asked to see Ajjawi’s phone and computer. The incoming Freshman wrote in a statement:

When I asked every time to have my phone back so I could tell them about the situation, the officer refused and told me to sit back in [my] position and not move at all. After the 5 hours ended, she called me into a room , and she started screaming at me. She said that she found people posting political points of view that oppose the US on my friend[s] list.”

Ajjawi explains, “I responded that I have no business with such posts and that I didn’t like, [s]hare or comment on them and told her that I shouldn’t be held responsible for what others post. I have no single post on my timeline discussing politics.”

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After that conversation, the immigration official canceled the student’s visa. Ajjawi has appealed to AMIDEAST and Harvard for help with the situation. Harvard spokesperson, Jonathan L. Swain, wrote, “The University is working closely with the student’s family and appropriate authorities to resolve this matter so that he can join his classmates in the coming days.”


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