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Sudanese-Australian PEN World Voices Participant, Yassmin Abdel-Magied, Denied Entry Into the US

The author and activist says that US immigration sent her back within just a few minutes of looking at her case despite traveling on an Australian passport.

Sudanese-Australian mechanical engineer, broadcaster, author and Muslim activist Yassmin Abdel-Magied, was turned down by US immigration in Minneapolis on Wednesday after arriving in the country to attend the PEN World Voices Festival.

Abdel-Magied was due to speak at the festival in New York next week for an event called "No Country For Young Muslim Women," but was denied entry upon her arrival in the States, The Guardianreports. Authorities claimed that Abdel-Magied lacked the correct visa for entry, though the author noted in a statement released on Tuesday, that she had travelled to the US using the same visa before.

"I have previously travelled to the United States on the visa that I sought entry with on this occasion," read Abdel-Magied's statement. "I am not seeking advice and working to resolve the issue as soon as possible. I appreciate the interest and concern and look forward to future travels in the United States."


As she was being sent back, Abdel-Magied live tweeted what was happening. "Within a few min of looking at my case the border security person - Officer Herberg looking at my case she announces: 'we're sending you back!" she wrote in one tweet. Also sharing that her phone and passport had been taken away during the ordeal. "Oh, and they still have my passport. Apparently I can't be trusted with it until I'm in a foreign country because, as Officer Blees said, 'planes get turned away back way too often and then..."

PEN America's CEO Suzanne Nossel released a statement yesterday in response to the incident, describing PEN's mission and pointing out the very purpose of Abdel-Magied's appearance was to advocate for Muslim women and girls. She called on Customs and Border Patrol to allow her entry into the country in order to attend the event.

We are dismayed that an invited guest to our annual PEN World Voices Festival in New York, which starts on Monday, Yassmin Abdel-Magied, herself the founder of an organization called Youth Without Borders, was turned away by US Immigration officials in Minneapolis, reportedly had her phone and passport seized, and was put back on a plane to Amsterdam. Abdel-Magied is an advocate of the rights of Muslim women and refugees and is a citizen of Australia, travelling on that country's passport. The very purpose of the PEN World Voices Festival, founded after 9/11 to sustain the connectedness between the U.S. and the wider world, is in jeopardy at a time when efforts at visa bans and tightened immigration restrictions threaten to choke off vital channels of dialogue that are protected under the First Amendment right to receive and impart information through in-person cultural exchange. We understand that Yassmin was traveling on a type of visa that she had used in the past for similar trips without issue. We call on Customs and Border Patrol to admit her to the U.S. so that she can take her rightful place in the urgent international conversation to take place at the Festival next week.

All You Need to Know About the African Teams at the World Cup

We break down how Senegal, Ghana, Cameroon, Morocco, and Tunisia's national teams are looking ahead of the Qatar World Cup 2022.

African football has come a long way.

Egypt was the first African team to ever participate in a FIFA World Cup. They did it in Italy in 1934, where they only played a game, which they lost 4-2 to Hungary. Back then, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) didn’t exist, so the Pharaohs played two qualifier games against British Palestine.

CAF was eventually formed in 1956, but the World Cup would only see another African team in Mexico 1970, when Morocco qualified. Years later, Pelé, the legendary Brazilian player, predicted that an African team would win a World Cup before the year 2000, he was mocked mercilessly. For many, it was not an unlikely outcome, it was an absurd proposition.

And yet, African footballers have become more and more often part of the footballing elite, playing in the best leagues, and becoming some of the most famous players. While, still, only European and South American teams have won World Cups.

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Photo by SEYLLOU/AFP via Getty Images

Senegal Becomes First African Team to Win a Game at the World Cup

The Senegalese team beat the host team by a 3-1 score during the Group A match.


Senegal became the first African country to be a winner at the 2022 FIFA World Cup after scoring over the Qatar host team on Friday, November 25.

While this is a big win for Senegal, the defeat means that Qatar is close to being eliminated from the tournament after Ecuador defeated them last Sunday during the opening game.The Senegalese team beat the host team by a 1-3 score during the Group A match at the 2022 World Cup, and this win made them the first African side to win a game in the tournament. The goals came from Boulaye Dia, Famara Diedhiou, and Bamba Dieng, who all played a part in securing the big win.

The Qatari team seemed self-assured as they quickly secured a goal. Qatar should have had a penalty when Ismaila Sarr bundled over Akram Afif, but the referee Antonio Mateu decided not to grant it.

In a conversation with Aljazeera, Pathe Toure shared the team's strategy for winning the game.

"It was a good performance. We were focused, and the team decided to play well. We didn't let Qatar move the ball or have time on the ball," Toure said. "We have to play the same way or better against Ecuador. It will be like a tournament final. Now it is time to enjoy the win and the performance."

Senegal's win is historic because Africa has not had a lot of success in World Cup games, in the past. The last time an African team had a stake in the quarter-finals was when Ghana reached the last eight in 2010.

Seni Saraki On Co-Producing the Nigerian Side of the 'Black Panther' Soundtrack

We speak with NATIVE's Seni Saraki who helped put together the Lagos arm of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever - Music From and Inspired By.

Back in July when Marvel released its Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Prologue EP, led by Tems’ soul-stirring cover of Bob Marley’s “No Woman, No Cry,” the consensus among young, internet-savvy Africans was that the follow-up to 2018’s record-breaking Black Panther was shaping up to be seminal moment for African culture after years of gestation and ascending visibility in the western world.

The arrival of the full soundtrack has proved that the optimism felt at that time was not unfounded. In a sharp contrast to the Kendrick Lamar-curated soundtrack for the first film, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever - Music From and Inspired By is a full-on deep-dive into the pulse of African and Mexican popular music as we know it. Taking influences from these sources makes sense as the movie is primarily inspired by both Nigerian and Meso-american cultures and we get to see acts like Burna Boy, Fireboy DML, DBN Gogo, and CKay line-up on the musical accompaniment to one of the eagerly-anticipated releases of the year.

To get some perspective on how the African arm of the soundtrack came together, we spoke to The NATIVE’s editor-in-chief, Seni Saraki, who served as the soundtrack album co-producer for the Lagos arm of production, touching on his involvement with the project, its reception, and what he hopes its legacy might be.

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