Freshman Reema Alhachami faces repercussions of Muslim Ban


Carly Anderson

Reema Alhachami and her family are heading to Dubai this spring break, but faced many political complications along the way.

What was supposed to be the trip of a lifetime is now quickly becoming an issue as freshman Reema Alhachami struggles with her international spring break plans. Alhachami was going to visit both Dubai and Iraq this March to sightsee and visit family, but due to political differences between the U.S. and Iraq, the trip has to be altered.

“We’ve [my best friend and my entire family] been planning this for over a year. We are still going to Dubai but we had to cancel Iraq [because of the American ban],” Alhachami said.

Recently, President Donald Trump issued an executive order that would keep refugees and citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries out of the U.S. to “protect the nation from foreign terrorist entry.” The ban was set to keep any immigrants or visa-holders from visiting the United States for 90 days, affecting many countries in the process.

“With Obama, I felt like we were taking a step forward and now, with Trump, I feel like we’re taking a step back and it sucks because we’ve worked so hard, and now Trump is making it seem like it’s okay to act upon [racist thoughts],” Alhachami said.

Following Trump’s Muslim ban, Iraqi lawmakers responded by voting to enact a similar visa ban for Americans if the U.S. did not withdraw their own. Because of this, Alhachami’s plans to visit her grandmother have been canceled.

“I needed to see my grandmother in Iraq because she’s sick and in the hospital and I haven’t seen her in over seven years, and now I can’t, which is really upsetting,” Alhachami said.

Since the ban was issued on Jan. 27, many people have been detained and forced to sleep in airports, inciting multiple protests to demonstrate opposition felt by thousands of Americans.

“My mom and sister went to some protests and a lot of my friends have gone too, but I haven’t had the opportunity to go yet. I definitely support them and I’ve signed petitions, I believe [peaceful protesting] is the best way to share your opinion,” Alhachami said.

Alhachami and her family have been facing much backlash following the ban, in airports, school and even just outside their own home.

“I have definitely noticed a change in the way I’ve been treated in public. I’ve been accused of having done [violent] things and discriminated against [in public places especially]. I can’t walk out of my house without constantly looking back because I’ve heard so many things about attacks, some of them even towards my friends. It’s just really scary,” Alhachami said

Because of the issues Alhachami and her family have been experiencing, she is voicing her opinion to try and bring light to the situations faced by many Muslim Americans.

“I am Muslim and there’s nothing you can do about it. Just because you have an opinion about someone doesn’t mean you get to act on that,” Alhachami said. “America is supposed to be a place of conjoined cultures. It’s supposed to be where the world comes together, not breaks up into pieces.”