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CAIR Asks State Department to Help Americans Stranded in Gaza Strip

CAIR-logo(WASHINGTON, D.C., 8/23/13) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization, has called on Secretary of State John Kerry to provide immediate departure assistance to American families stranded in the Gaza Strip.

CAIR sent a letter to the U.S. State Department yesterday seeking departure assistance for the 40 or more American families currently stranded in the Gaza Strip.

rdinarily these American citizens would leave the Gaza Strip through the Rafah border crossing into Egypt, but Egyptian authorities have closed the border crossing “indefinitely” for security reasons as a result of nationwide violence and political upheaval.

Many of the American families stranded in the Gaza Strip entered the territory through the Rafah border crossing earlier this summer prior to the July ouster of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi. In the last few days, American families attempting to depart to the United States via Cairo International Airport have been turned away from the Rafah border by Egyptian security guards.

CAIR's appeal to Secretary Kerry stated in part:

“This letter repeats the requests already made by Minnesota Representative Keith Ellison and Senator Amy Klobuchar that the State Department work to ensure the safe passage of these stranded American families out of the Gaza Strip in the next few days.”

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

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CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726,; CAIR Communications Manager Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, 202-341-4171,

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