Palestinian Harvard student denied entry to US finally arrives

A Palestinian Harvard University student originally denied entry to the United States arrived on campus on Monday, just a day before classes were set to begin.

Ismail Ajjawi, a 17-year-old refugee, was denied entry on August 23 and sent back to his home in Lebanon after spending hours in the Boston Logan International Airport.

The teenager said he was told his visa had been cancelled by immigration officers after being questioned about politically-oriented social media posts by his friends. He also reportedly said his phone and laptop were searched and he was asked about his religious practices in Lebanon.

US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) spokesman Michael McCarthy told Al Jazeera last week that Ajjawi had been “deemed inadmissible … based on information discovered during the CBP inspection”. He did not elaborate.

But the US Embassy in Beirut reviewed Ajjawi’s case and reissued his visa, according to Amideast, a nonprofit that awarded Ajjawi a scholarship to attend university. Ajjawi arrived on the Cambridge, Massachusetts campus on Monday.

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