Combating coronavirus: Parents relieved as students stranded abroad set to return to UAE

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Combating, coronavirus, covid19, Parents relieved, UAE, stranded students, back home

Dubai - UAE government has announced that starting June 1, residents stranded abroad can return to the country.

By Anjana Sankar and Nandini Sircar

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Published: Sun 31 May 2020, 11:00 PM

Last updated: Mon 1 Jun 2020, 1:38 AM

Sakshi Chandak cannot contain her excitement as she is all set to fly back to the UAE on June 4th after getting stranded in the US for more than two months.
"It feels unreal, dreamy, and like a fairytale," Sakshi, a Psychology student at the Arizona State University, told Khaleej Times.
"I can't thank the UAE government and authorities enough for letting me back home. It's been a long wait of 73 days for me now."
UAE government has announced that starting June 1, residents stranded abroad can return to the country. Many children who were pursuing higher education abroad got stranded after UAE and other countries imposed air travel ban. And parents in the UAE have been desperately waiting for them to return home.
"It is big relief for us," said Gopal Chandak, Sakshi's father who is based in Dubai.
"She was on her way to the airport on March 18 when the travel ban began, and she flew to Boston and stayed with a friend. "As they say life is the biggest university. So, I kept telling my daughter that it is a great life experience for her," said Chandak.
Sakshi on her part said as a stranded student, who just turned 18, it was really hard on her. "It sure has been a wild emotional roller coaster, filled with tears, and heaps of anxiety. This was also the first time I've been away from my family and friends for so long. I was lucky enough that a family friend accommodated and provided for me in these months. I'm super excited to return home, and spend time with my loved ones," said Sakshi.
Umesh Babu Sharma and Sanjana is another couple who is waiting to welcome their daughter back.
"My daughter got approval from ICA today and she will be flying back to Dubai on June 02 from Toronto," Sharma told Khaleej Times.
Akarshi Sharma is second year student at university of Toronto.
"Like so many other parents, we were also worried about her health and safety. We have been chasing approval from ICA, which we received on Sunday. We immediately booked her flight and she is arriving on June 3. We are really excited."
Deepika Agarwal, whose 21 year old son is in the University of UIUC, Chicago, says her happiness has no bounds. She says, "I am so relieved to hear of this decision. It's a big effort and we are extremely grateful to the UAE authorities for facilitating this. I simply love this country and this is indeed home."
Dr Sheetal Vaidaya whose son is in Nottingham Trent University says though her son may not be able to come back in the near future but she is certainly happy for other parents stuck in a similar situation.
She avers, "I am very happy for parents who will see their children soon. I can totally empathize with their pain and anguish. Unfortunately, I could not get my son's visa done owing to the pandemic situation, so he doesn't fall in the category who can return in the near future as his visa has expired. But I am happy for those parents who'll meet their children soon and will see some finality. I am hopeful for parents like us as well."
anjana@khaleejtimes.com 
nandini@khaleejtimes.com 


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