After a sharp increase in Covid-19 cases in India, many Arab students on academic scholarships to Indian universities are unable to leave the country and face harsh living conditions there.
The repeated shutdowns of universities have caused many of the Arab students in India to experience delays in completing their studies, and global concerns about the new, more-contagious variants of the virus that are in part responsible for the devastating surge of cases in India make it difficult for them to return to home countries that also face difficult conditions. Moreover, many of the world’s airports are now closed to passengers coming from India.
“The situation is very bad and the smell of corpses fills the streets,” said Assim Anwar, a Sudanese master’s degree student in electronic engineering at Andhra University, a public institution in Andhra Pradesh state, in southern India. “Students got infected and the number of cases surged dramatically. As a result, the university closed its doors, the exams were postponed, and we are stuck here.”
For Arab students in India, the situation is disturbingly similar to the distress faced by Arab students in China during the early days of the pandemic more than a year ago. (See a related article, “Arab Students Trapped in China by Coronavirus Outbreak.”)