A Libyan student at George Mason University who was banned from reentering the United States under President Donald Trump's executive order is back in Virginia after a federal judge's ruling to block the order.
Najwa Elyazgi was on an airplane when President Trump signed the executive order a week ago. By the time she connected in Istanbul to fly back to the Washington, D.C. area, she was told she couldn't board.
"It cannot be described. It's very difficult to go through this. I literally just didn't know what to do," said Elyazgi, a senior at GMU. "I mean, it's my future. It's my last year."
Elyazgi said when she was stuck in Turkey she panicked and researched other schools outside the U.S. she could attend.
"I searched for other universities, tried to apply to different places because I [thought I] may never be back here again and I want to finish my bachelor's degree," she told News4.
"I think at times it's been an emotional roller coaster for her not knowing whether she was wanted here in the U.S.," her attorney Kevin George said.
On Friday, a federal judge in Washington state temporarily blocked the ban.
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Visa holders from seven majority-Muslim countries affected by Trump's travel ban hurried to board U.S.-bound flights Saturday, fearing they might have only a slim window through which to enter the country. Elyazgi has a student visa.
After a week of being in limbo, Elyazgi arrived to Dulles International Airport on Saturday.
"The nightmare's over," she said. "I'm glad I'm finally here."
Elyazgi said she was heartened by the welcome she received and the thousands of people who have protested the immigration order.
"I felt loved. The American people are really nice. They stand for others," she said.
Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring was at the airport to greet her. He had been in court in Alexandria Friday as the state joined a lawsuit to block Trump's immigration order.
"I thought it was really important to welcome her back and let her know we are glad she's back in Virginia, glad she's gonna be back at George Mason and we're gonna work to get other Virginia residents back as well," Herring said.
Elyazgi is studying international relations. She said she hopes to one day improve diplomacy between Libya and the United States.