Glasgow student stranded by Trump’s “travel ban”

Published

Dr Hamaseh Tayari with a patient.

Holly Sloey
Reporter

A University of Glasgow postgraduate student has been stranded in Costa Rica after President Trump’s executive order barred entry to the USA by those holding passports from several majority Muslim countries.

Dr Hamaseh Tayari had been due to return to Glasgow from Costa Rica via New York, but was told at the airport that she would be unable to fly to the USA as she holds an Iranian passport.

Trump’s order has instated a 90-day travel ban on citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

Some who had rights to enter the USA, including refugees and dual citizens, have been barred from entering the country, because they hold a passport from a “banned country” and were not in the USA when the order was instated.

Trump said the order’s intention was to “protect the United States from foreign nationals entering from countries compromised by terrorism.”

Dr Tayari was forced to look for alternative routes back to Glasgow.

She told BBC News that all she was able to find was a flight from Costa Rica to Madrid, from which she has found connecting flights to London and then to Glasgow.

The alternative journey has cost £2,600, almost all of the money that she and her boyfriend will need for the next few months.

She said: “I don’t know how we’ll afford to pay the rent, the bills and for food.

“[I am] completely shocked. I thought maybe I didn’t understand what’s going on. I tried to ask again, if I understood properly.

“Afterwards, I was really upset. I’m still upset. I’m more than angry, I’m really upset and I’m a little bit afraid.”

A spokesperson for the University said: “We were extremely concerned at the difficulties which one of our postgraduate students encountered on trying to return to the UK via the United States after holidaying in Costa Rica.

“We have been in touch with Hamaseh who has made arrangements to get back to Glasgow via an alternative route. The University will do all that it can to support her.”

A crowdfunding appeal launched on Saturday by Women for Independence has so far raised over £5,000 to cover the cost of Dr Tayari’s return home.