Mohammad Ramadan Hassan Salama is finally free to return to his American home.
After being stranded in Canada for nearly three months after U.S. officials canceled his visa (The Chronicle, September 11), the assistant professor of Arabic at San Francisco State University learned on Wednesday that he will be allowed to return to the United States. The U.S. Embassy in Toronto has informed him that he will be granted a new visa, which he expects to receive today.
Mr. Salama, a citizen of Egypt who has lived in the United States for seven years, traveled to Toronto on June 20 to upgrade his visa, a step he could take only outside the United States. But embassy officials there told Mr. Salama that he could not receive a new visa until he was given security clearance and that his previous visa had been canceled.
The professor said on Wednesday that he was "tearful, happy, and excited" when he learned of the news. "I felt like this would never end," he said by telephone from London, Ontario. "I just lost hope."
Mr. Salama and his lawyer believe recent news-media coverage helped expedite the security-clearance process.
"I learned that media can be an influential tool in granting people's rights," Mr. Salama said.
After he receives his visa today, Mr. Salama said he will visit his wife and two young children in Madison, Wis., before returning to San Francisco to teach.