From a Lebanese Refugee Camp to Harvard, Ismail Ajjawi Inspires Other Palestinian Students

S3 ismail ajjawi harvard student unrwa

Today marks a week since Ismail Ajjawi, a 17-year-old Palestinian student who was denied entry into the United States, began classes with his fellow Harvard freshmen. Ajjawi was initially turned away at Boston’s Logan Airport after immigration officials searched his phone and computer, and interrogated him about his religion and social media posts by friends that were critical of U.S. policy. He was then forced to return home to Lebanon, but his case provoked outrage on the Harvard campus and among some Palestinian rights and academic freedom groups. Ajjawi, who is attending Harvard on a full scholarship, was educated in schools run by UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine. From Gaza City, we speak with Matthias Schmale, director of UNRWA operations in Gaza, and we’re joined in Washington, D.C., by Theodore Kattouf, president and CEO of AMIDEAST, an education training nonprofit that works in the Middle East and Northern Africa.

Today marks a week since Ismail Ajjawi, a 17-year-old Palestinian student who was denied entry into the United States, began classes with his fellow Harvard freshmen. Ajjawi was initially turned away at Boston’s Logan Airport after immigration officials searched his phone and computer, and interrogated him about his religion and social media posts by friends that were critical of U.S. policy. He was then forced to return home to Lebanon, but his case provoked outrage on the Harvard campus and among some Palestinian rights and academic freedom groups. Ajjawi, who is attending Harvard on a full scholarship, was educated in schools run by UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine. From Gaza City, we speak with Matthias Schmale, director of UNRWA operations in Gaza, and we’re joined in Washington, D.C., by Theodore Kattouf, president and CEO of AMIDEAST, an education training nonprofit that works in the Middle East and Northern Africa.Read More

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