- Title: American University of Beirut criticizes Trump's executive order
- Date: 30th January 2017
- Summary: VARIOUS OF PHOTO SHOWING OLDER CAMPUS OF AUB
- Embargoed: 13th February 2017 18:11
- Keywords: Lebanon American University of Beirut AUB USA Donald Trump immigration refugees Syria Iraq Iran Libya Somalia Sudan Yemen ban
- Location: BEIRUT, LEBANON
- City: BEIRUT, LEBANON
- Country: Lebanon
- Topics: Diplomacy/Foreign Policy,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA002619XSNB
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The President of the American University of Beirut (AUB) Fadlo Khuri sent a letter to the university's alumni community on Monday (January 30) commenting on U.S. President Donald Trump's executive order banning immigration into the U.S. from seven predominately Muslim nations.
Khuri, the first Lebanese-American president of AUB affirmed in his letter the values at AUB of 'equal opportunity, openness, equal treatment and equal protection under the law for all'.
"I don't understand what this executive order does other than really put a pause in America's relationship as the aspirational democracy for the world. To make America more restrictive and less welcoming, I believe, is a mistake," Khuri said in an interview with Reuters later on Monday.
Khuri, who was born in the U.S. city of Boston and brought up in Lebanon's Beirut, quoted late American president Abraham Lincoln using his inaugural address' phrase, 'by the better angels of our nature'.
He said it was his way of telling President Trump to learn from his predecessors and put dialogue above all.
"If he'd look to his greatest predecessor Abraham Lincoln, who always sought dialogue over battle, then he would see the battle always have terrible consequences and that to really try to trust and bring out the 'better angels of out nature' is rarely ever a losing proposition," Khuri said.
The AUB president, who continued his specialization in the U.S. and only moved back to Lebanon a while before assuming office at AUB in September 2015, said they have not documented yet any denying of entrance to the U.S. for students, trainees or faculty members at AUB but added that he is quite sure 'they will be affected by this if this ban holds, and during the period it holds'.
The executive order signed by Trump Friday (January 27) afternoon curtailing travel by citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries was met with befuddlement at airports as customs and immigration agents grappled with the new rules.
Protests erupted around the country, lawsuits were filed and a federal judge blocked deportation of those detained under the order, which drew criticism from immigration and human rights activists, Democratic lawmakers and leading Republicans.
Trump rejected criticism that the order amounted to a Muslim ban, saying more than 40 majority Muslim countries were not affected.
Trump's ban covers citizens of Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. He says the ban will help keep Americans safe and he has cited recent attacks by Islamist militants in several European countries.
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