Adel Farag is a graduate geology student from Benghazi, Libya, and said if he were American, he would give his vote to Bernie Sanders, although he is not on the ticket. Other international students voiced their opinion to the Daily News about how they would vote if they could in the election. Emma Rogers // DN
International students weigh in on election, foreign affairs
The presidential election affects more than just America.
International students at Ball State have been following the presidential election closely, even though they can’t vote.
Yousef Teklewold, a second year graduate student in information and communication studies, is an international student from Ethiopia.
“This election is not only for Americans. It affects probably more countries than America, including my country,” Teklewold said. “[Ethiopia] is a very strategic position and then we become a big ally to America in terms of fighting against terrorism, and there are certain groups that affect world peace, like even groups in Somalia. ... So Ethiopia being neighboring Somalia, we send our solders and drones and everything to that country and we get lots of support from international countries, including the U.S.”
Adel Farag is a graduate geology student from Benghazi, Libya. His primary source of news is "The Daily Show," hosted by Trevor Noah.
“If I were American, I would give my voice to Bernie Sanders, because he’s more realistic — his plans, his way to talk, to explain, his way to help poor people. You can believe on him. You can accept what he’s saying, not like other candidates,” Farag said. “When he came on stage [at the Democratic National Convention] and started to talk, I saw a lot of people start to cry. Bernie Sanders is the best choice — was — for America, I believe.”
Although he knows Sanders is not the Democratic candidate for president and he said Donald Trump promotes Islamophobia and xenophobia, Farag said he cannot support Hillary Clinton.
“I don’t like her, actually. I’m sorry. She f—k up my country,” Farag said.
Being from Benghazi, Farag blames Clinton for not protecting the American diplomatic compound in 2012 from a terrorist attack that killed four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.
“She was the first person who could save his life … and she didn’t,” Farag said. “Her outside processing with other countries is so bad.”
Leon Jassar, a sophomore political science major, is originally from Jordan and has lived in America for two years. If given the chance, Jassar said he would vote for Clinton because he agrees with more of her policies than with Trump’s.
Aside from the candidates, Jassar said the process of democracy in America is more representative of the people’s choice than the voting process is in Jordan.
“In my country, we have king, but we have prime minister and we have parliament. The system, it’s kind of like the U.K. system. In the U.K., the queen doesn’t get involved in politics,” Jassar said. “In my country, the king has power. He can just say, for example, if he or the country was not satisfied with the prime minister and the parliament, he will just like remove them and say, ‘do the election again.’ It happened before.”
However, Jassar said there are parallels between political leadership in Jordan and in America.
“You guys have freedom to choose. Why do you choose George Bush the father, George Bush the son, then Bill Clinton, then his wife? And I saw people saying Michelle Obama. I mean, I like the Obamas but … You guys have no other people?” Jassar said. “For example, in my country, we have this sometimes. Prime minister, he’s prime minister and then his son and then his grandson. We had this. We don’t want this. Nobody likes this.”
Jassar said if Americans have the opportunity for their voices to be heard, they should utilize it.
“If you don’t want to vote, don’t complain,” Jassar said.