Georgia State student held in Saudi Arabia, following Trump’s ban

Over 7,000 people gathered to protest Trump's travel ban on Sunday night, at the Atlanta airport. Photo by: Christina Maxouris | The Signal


Georgia State sophomore Rakhaa Noaman is being detained at an airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia after the president’s recent ban.

On Jan. 27, President Donald Trump signed an executive order restricting immigration from countries Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen for 90 days.

Two days after the order was signed, Noaman and her sister, a Clark Atlanta University student, had a scheduled flight back to Atlanta, to resume their semester.

But once the sisters arrived at the airport to catch their 4:50 a.m. flight, they were told they could not board, because of Trump’s travel ban. No other airlines agreed to issue tickets. Noaman was born and raised in Saudi Arabia, that however does not grant ‘citizenship for the ones [who are] born on its soil]’, she said. So despite living all her life there, Noaman isn’t allowed to travel because she holds a Yemeni citizenship.

“I’m a Yemeni passport holder but I was born and raised in Saudi Arabia and have a Saudi residency,” she told The Signal. “I didn’t come from Yemen, and I don’t live there. I’m only holding its passport.”

Noaman said she’s not a refugee, and is confused as to why she’s being held.

“I came to the United States with my own money to get my bachelor’s and planning to come back again to Saudi Arabia to my family once I graduate,”  she said. “My Visa is an F1 student visa, not an immigration visa. I really don’t get why is this happening.”

Noaman said she’s contacted the university but has not heard back yet.

The president has tweeted multiple times on the travel ban defending his decision to keep immigrants out of the country.

 

Wesley Dunkirk contributed to this article.

More updates to come.

About Christina Maxouris 59 Articles
Christina is the News Editor of Georgia State Signal. Raised in Greece, there is nothing she loves more than soaking up sun rays, and having a good debate!

3 Comments

  1. Uhm, to work or go to school in another country, I have to follow their laws. When S. Korea says jump, I do as they say, because I’m just an American. 9-11 changed our lives because we were too free-wheeling with immigration. We’ve lived in surveillance land since then. I don’t understand how this girl gets to be entitled to feel like she’s the victim. You’re not an American, you’re Yemeni. We have immigration laws and all of my family had to follow them to get here and stay here.

  2. Uhm, to work or go to school in another country, I have to follow their laws. When S. Korea says jump, I do as they say, because I’m just an American. 9-11 changed our lives because we were too free-wheeling with immigration. We’ve lived in surveillance land since then. I don’t understand how this girl gets to be entitled to feel like she’s the victim. You’re not an American, you’re Yemeni. We have immigration laws and all of my family had to follow them to get here and stay here.

    • She did follow the laws, and the laws were suddenly changed in the middle of the game. She paid her tuition to go to school and that money gives her as much a right to go to class as yours does. Universities benefit from having international students: which is exactly why someone like you might go to S. Korea.
      If you paid to go to school and live in S Korea but suddenly couldn’t go even though you followed all the rules, how would you feel?
      This law doesn’t even do anything to prevent another 9-11, because terrorists could come from any other country, including Saudi Arabia. You know who has never attacked America? A Yemeni terrorist.

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