Cooper Union Faculty Member Is Denied Entry to United Arab Emirates

Walid Raad, an artist and associate professor at the Cooper Union, says he was barred from entering the United Arab Emirates this week for “security” reasons, according to a letter he posted online on Friday.

It is the second time an academic has been banned from entering the country in recent months. In March, Andrew Ross, a professor of social and cultural analysis at New York University, which has a campus in Abu Dhabi, was prevented from traveling to the emirates over security concerns. The ban raised questions about the university’s ability to secure academic freedom on its Abu Dhabi campus.

Both Mr. Ross and Mr. Raad are members of the Gulf Labor Artist Coalition, an activist group that advocates on behalf of migrant workers who are building facilities for Western cultural and educational institutions in Abu Dhabi, including the Guggenheim Museum and NYU. Mr. Raad says he was on his way to a meeting of the labor organization when he was denied entry at the Dubai airport on Monday. In addition, Mr. Raad writes that Ashok Sukumaran, another artist and member of the coalition, was also barred from entering the country this month.

Return to Top