After weeks of negotiating, President Trump pulled off his biggest deal yet by demanding the release of Egyptian American humanitarian worker Aya Hijazi, her husband, Mohamed Hassanein, and four others from an Egyptian prison. Hijazi and her husband flew back home to the United States on Thursday night.
President Trump, who quietly negotiated with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi for their release, met with Hijazi at the White House on Friday.
“We are very happy to have Aya back home,” Trump said, seated next to Hijazi.
Hijazi, 30, who grew up in Falls Church, Virginia (just outside Washington, DC), became the face of al-Sisi’s brutal crackdown against civil society organizations like hers. She, her husband, and their coworkers through the Belady Foundation, a nonprofit NGO, were helping homeless Egyptian children as a haven and rehab center.
Because Hijazi and Hassanein are American citizens, however, the Egyptian government viewed them as agitators and Western agents who sought to divide and destroy the country. All six of them were arrested in May 2014 on charges of child abuse and trafficking. Human rights groups said the case lacked credibility and called it “bizarre.”
What’s worse is that while it took only a few weeks to negotiate for their release, the Obama administration ignored them for two and a half years.
So, while #NeverTrumpers and liberals continue to call Trump a “Hitlerian” authoritarian, the President is out there muscling actual authoritarians like al-Sisi to ensure the freedom and liberty of Americans both home and abroad.