Iraqis, Syrians denied entry into US

'Donald Trump destroyed my life'

Agencies January 29, 2017
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks during a rally at Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania on October 10, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

CAIRO/ BEIRUT: Following President Donald Trump’s executive order restricting arrivals from seven Muslim countries, two families from Middle Eastern states were barred from flying to the United States despite having valid visas.

An Iraqi family was stopped from flying from Cairo to New York while a Syrian family was prevented from boarding a flight bound from Paris to Atlanta.

Egyptian officials said the Iraqi family had visas and were in transit when they were prevented from boarding the EgyptAir plane to New York's JFK airport. Fuad Sharef, 51, and his wife and three children were instead forced to board a flight back to Arbil in Iraq's autonomous region of Kurdistan, he told AFP.

"I had sold my house, my car, my furniture. I took my children out of school," said Sharef of the family's preparations to resettle in Tennessee under a special immigrant visa. "Donald Trump destroyed my life. My family's life. "

Meanwhile, a Syrian family was returned to their departure airport of Beirut from Paris after being stopped from boarding an Atlanta-bound flight, airport sources said.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 29th, 2017.


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