“I felt like that could not happen in a country like America. It’s so sad, a country of freedom, country of democracy, and suddenly it goes down that road,” Ms. Al-Mowafak said.
She was unable to return home over winter break because of conflict in Yemen. News of the ban coincided with reports of Yemeni civilians being killed in the first U.S. raid under President Trump.
“They ban Yemenis at the same time that they kill them and you start wondering, Who’s the terrorist?” Ms. Al-Mowafak said.
She said she feels “trapped” because, unlike other Stanford students, she will be excluded from opportunities like studying abroad. Mostly, though, she’s hurt and uncertain when she will next see her husband.
“I have four years to finish, so if this ban continues, I will stay away from my family for four years,” Ms. Al-Mowafak said. Her family worries, but her husband has been reassuring. He told her, “It’s OK, we’re going to do it, even if it’s four years. Don’t do anything reckless, don’t come back, stay where you are.”