Egypt deports first batch of 104 Malaysian students, 19 home

HASHINI KAVISHTRI

SEPANG: The first batch of 19 Malaysians students out of the 104 who were to be deported from Egypt last Monday, has arrived in Malaysia today.

Two male and 17 female students between the ages of 10 and 23 arrived at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) at 3.50pm.

Hundreds of people including the students’ parents, former teachers and friends were present as early 2pm to show their show their empathy and support.

On Feb 27, a total of 126 Malaysian students were detained by the Egyptian authorities for student visa offences.

Twenty-one-year-old Nurafiqah Elia Mohd Najib who was pursuing Islamic Studies at Markaz Tahfiz Makkah Al-Mukarramah was forced to come back to Malaysia because she didn’t have a student visa.

She has been studying in the institution for one year and two months before she was arrested and deported.

“I have applied for the visa previously and it was approved. Despite applying this year, I have yet to receive it.

“I assumed that it would take time for the Malaysian Embassy in Cairo to issue it. I was shocked when Egyptian military charged into our campus and started ransacking our administration office,” she added.

After more than eight hours, 126 students were arrested for not owning student visas. The eldest of four siblings from Shah Alam also said the students' institutions were not registered with the Egyptian government.

They were brought to Al Sarqia Regional Police Training Centre to have their statements recorded and placed under police supervision for seven days, Nurafiqah said.

“I have an examination to sit for on March 15 and because of this deportation I won’t be able to. All that I have been studying for in the past year are all wasted now.

“If I go back after this, I would have to repeat my studies,” she said as tears rolled down her cheeks.

She said she had followed every rules and regulations required for her visa application.

“I don’t deserve to go through this because I’m not at fault. My parents have worked hard to pay for my studies,” she said.

It was reported previously that Mohd Husaini Zainuddin, the second secretary at the Malaysian Embassy in Cairo, had said the students aged between 10 and 23, were held for not having valid student visas.

“On Feb 28, the Egyptian National Security Service made a decision to deport 104 of the students while the rest were released under the supervision of the embassy,” he added, when contacted by Bernama.

Mohd Husaini believed that the failure of the particular tahfiz school to register under Al Azhar School Sector had led the Egyptian authorities to decide not to issue visas to the students involved.

Another two batches of 85 students are expected to arrive tomorrow morning.