Denied entry to Egypt - 'problem for national security'

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Denied entry to Egypt - 'problem for national security'

Post by DJKeefy »

US academic denied entry to Egypt told she was a 'problem for national security'.
An academic refused entry to Egypt on “national security” grounds this week says she fears she may now not be able to live with her Egyptian husband.

Ada Petiwala, a US citizen studying for a masters degree in the connections between Bollywood and Arab popular culture, flew from France to Cairo on Tuesday along with her husband, an Egyptian citizen.

After buying an entry visa to Egypt, she was called back and interrogated for over three hours until 06:00 (0400 GMT).

Following the interrogation Petiwala was taken to the “quarantine” section of the airport, where she was refused food, water and access to toilets.

“I sat in a room across from other security officers,” she wrote in a Facebook post, “who had locked Syrian migrants in the detention room next to mine. The Syrians on the other side were treated with extreme cruelty and humiliated in words I cannot repeat.”


“I saw a room of beds where a Nigerian girl heard me and tried to comfort me, as I was bawling and near to fainting at this point. This girl, who is pregnant, had already been locked up in this room for 15 days. And yet she was the one consoling me, the one with enough privilege and resources to leave.”

Petiwala told Middle East Eye she has “no idea” why she was denied entry to Egypt, but was told on her release after nearly eight hours in detention that she was a “problem for national security”.

Petiwala eventually flew to Germany along with her husband, after being told by the US embassy that the matter is “out of their hands”.

Now, though, she fears that strict visa regulations will mean she and her husband will not be able to live together, having been told by Egyptian immigration officials that she “will not return to Egypt again”.

“After [the Egyptians'] refusal to allow me into the country, it is becoming impossible to understand how we will meet because of how difficult it is for Egyptians to acquire visas to most countries,” Petiwala told Middle East Eye.

“I was naive to think that [immigration officials in Egypt] would believe that I have been waiting months and months to see my husband, that I spent my entire semester planning for the time I would have with him in the country where he was born, the country where we fell in love, the country where half my life now is - or was.

“I keep thinking of Egypt. Most of my life is linked with Egypt, whether through my husband or through my personal interests. But now I am too frightened to go back to that airport,” she said.

Source: ... -229892418


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Re: Denied entry to Egypt - 'problem for national security'

Post by carrie »

Only good part is what the American Embassy said "out of our hands" sounds like they are no more use than the British.

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Re: Denied entry to Egypt - 'problem for national security'

Post by Horus »

But now I am too frightened to go back to that airport,” she said.
I reckon that must apply to many expats who were told to leave because of visa problems, but who were then told by other sources that there was no reason they could not return.

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Re: Denied entry to Egypt - 'problem for national security'

Post by HEPZIBAH »

There is something odd about this story. My first thought when I read it was that I'd read it before. My next thought was, why would the woman need to buy a visa if she was married to an Egyptian? OK, we can all answer wasn't a registered marriage, in which case, why make such a big thing about it in the article. It also occurs to me that her age is not mentioned. It's very rare to read about a woman in a news article and there be no reference to her age!
There has to be more than meets the eye on this one - surely!
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Re: Denied entry to Egypt - 'problem for national security'

Post by Hafiz »

There is something very odd about this story but its not about her age or marriage status.

Her NY college bio is at ... a_Ada.html.

She is less than truthful in saying she has no idea why she was refused entry.

The above college bio says she has been associated with/worked for the liberal/youth Townhouse Gallery and this was closed in December or January after a visit from the security services. The gallery also includes a so-called Hackers Space an open source community workspace for engineers, designers, and artists. The gallery has previously been associated with overseas civil society NGO's and has been a focal point for anti-Mubarak and free speech initiatives. I'm sure you get the drift.

It was closed for several months after the visit for alleged building violations. After its reopening in April the gallery building very promptly, and without warning, collapsed. Only in Egypt. Its a 5 story central Cairo building near Tahir so we are talking about quite a big event but miraculously buildings of a similar 19th century/early 20th vintage either side are ok. Conspiracy theorists must be having a field day fueled by not entirely reliable reports that armed and uniformed security services personnel mucked in and subsequently helped with the demolition of the dangerous sagging hulk. ... collapses/ The photographs in this report show that there is little left standing.

My guess is that she is a non-national who has been seen to have involved herself in local politics or at least involved herself with people who have made pests of themselves.

The municipal engineers report on the collapse would be fascinating reading. Maybe the engineering take home is that buildings promptly collapse in Cairo after being left unattended and unguarded for a few months. If true, something for all property owners in Egypt to avoid.

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