An 18-year-old Syrian teen who was accepted to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) had his dreams of attending the prestigious university crushed amid the implementation of President Donald Trump’s immigration ban.
Mahmoud Hassan planned to study engineering in the United States, but he may not get the chance under Trump’s ban, which targets seven predominately Muslim countries, including Syria, CNN reports.
Hassan said he was looking forward to attending school this fall and was even offered a scholarship.
On behalf of the Admissions Committee, it is my pleasure to offer you admission to the MIT Class of 2021! You stood out as one of the most talented and promising students in one of the most competitive applicant pools in the history of the Institute," his acceptance letter reportedly read.
"Now Trump's orders will prevent me from going there," Hassan told CNN. "My dreams are basically ruined."
According to Fox Now, Hassan is not the only student affected by this devastating ban. Many others cut visits with their families short to head back to the U.S. before Trump implemented the ban, but now they’re unsure when they’ll get to see their relatives again.
“Their whole dreams are shattered,” said Dina Katabi, professor at MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab. “Imagine being in the middle of your new life you always dreamed of, you’re doing your PhD — everything looks well, and suddenly somebody closes the door.”
The ban is not only affecting students but faculty members as well.
Hassan Ghasemzadeh, an Iranian-born computer science professor at Washington State, said he “never thought such a thing would happen in the U.S.” upon seeing Trump’s anti-immigrant policies come to fruition.
In fear of leaving the country and not being able to return, he’s searching for a proxy to present a paper for him at a conference in Europe set to take place in March. The father of a 5-year-old daughter, Ghasemzadeh says he’s also concerned whether his child will get to meet her Iranian grandparents, and he and his wife are grappling with how to tell her that.
People’s lives are truly being turned upside down by this ban; meanwhile, Trump has totally downplayed the effects of his orders by asserting that things are running smoothly and claiming that only a small percentage of people have been affected.
Perhaps in the first weekend “only 109 people out of 325,000” travelers were detained, but that is more than enough to cause fear among all immigrants who had any plans of coming into the country for the first time — like Hassan — or leaving and returning in the near future, like Ghasemzadeh.
Banner/Thumbnail Photo Credit: Reuters