Middle Eastern countries are rich in history, culture, food, and language. The region is dynamic and deep in learned texts, insights, and more. However, outsider access to this region is becoming more limited as many Middle Eastern countries are reluctant to receive foreign criticisms of their economic policies, human rights records, or political unrest. This is in contrast to another country near the region that welcomes international students, business, and research into its country. This is the country of India. By allowing foreigners into its country, the Indian government is able to promote global economics and improve its advancement and scholarship.
Over the years, many scholars have studied in India and countries in the Middle East. Unfortunately, studying and visiting the Middle East is becoming increasingly more difficult to do. Middle Eastern governments are starting to deny access to scholars and others seeking to enter the region. Visitors must exercise great care when planning a trip to this part of the world. One should stay alert to State Department announcements on the particular country. Countries such as Egypt and the United Arab Emeritus (UAE) have begun increasing the requirements foreigners must meet in order to enter their countries. There have been several reports from both countries of scholars, who have been critical of the government, being forced to leave as soon as they arrive. Other times, visitors may spend several days in the country, only to be escorted out later by military personnel. There are times when exactly what type of law is being violated is not clear because reasons are not always given for why people are being asked to leave.
In addition to scholars, journalists are another group that frequently travel to the Middle East and face restrictions. Journalists are often travelling to the area to report on issues in the region. There have been cases of journalists being denied entry due to prior remarks about the country that the journalist published. When journalists have entered some of these countries successfully, they are watched closely and could be arrested at any time. Journalists, business people, and scholars must exercise all precautions and be well-informed before travelling to these regions of the world.
International students who study abroad bring many advantages to the countries where these students are studying. Allowing entrance into Middle Eastern countries can help improve not only global economics but also promote goodwill among all nations. Countries can offer mutual aid such as food, medical supplies, and people. These are just some of the many services can become necessary in the event of a disaster or other type of crisis. Only time will tell if the political landscape in this sometimes turbulent region of the world will shift back to favoring foreign scholarship, even with its criticisms.
Reference: Lindsey, Ursula. “Middle-East Governments Are Shutting the Door on Scholar.” The Chronicle of Higher Education. 10 Nov. 2015. Pg. 1. The Chronicle of Higher Education. Web. 17 Nov. 2015.
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