The New York travel advisory group that has led the charge against the Trump administration’s travel ban has been in financial trouble for years.
Its members include some of the biggest names in business, and its clients include some who are on Trump’s short list of business partners.
In fact, it is part of the Trump family.
And yet the group is still in the news.
Al Jazeera spoke to several of its members to find out how the advisory group came to be and what it is doing now.
– In early 2016, the group started receiving requests from people who were concerned about what the travel ban would do to the economy.
The travel ban was not supposed to impact the global economy at all.
And it was supposed to be temporary.
But in the first months of its implementation, the travel restrictions made it so that the US economy could not respond to those who wanted to travel to the US for business.
Al-Jazeera: What was the first step you took?
Al-Majid: The first step was that we wrote to the administration to ask for their thoughts.
So we sent a letter to the president.
We wrote to his senior advisers.
And we wrote a letter of our own to him himself.
We were very happy that the president responded.
We said that he should take the threat of the travel restriction seriously.
He agreed with us.
We asked him to sign a memorandum that said, We are not going to implement the ban on US citizens.
But we would make it clear that we were very serious about enforcing the ban.
So he signed it and we took it seriously.
It was a very significant step.
Al-‘Jazeera reporter: But the next year, when the travel order was in effect, the US Federal Aviation Administration, which is the federal agency that enforces the US travel ban, issued an order saying that any business that flew into the US from the Middle East, for example, would be stopped.
The US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) also said that if the travel was a small business, then it would be allowed to operate.
Al Majid: So, when that order came out, we were already in the middle of this crisis, and we said, Let’s not let it get any worse.
And then the travel advisory committee, the first thing that they said was, OK, we have to get back to the business of advising consumers.
Al Jazeera: The US travel advisory advisory committee was established in January 2017, after the travel bans became official.
Al Majid was a member.
He is now a member of the group’s board.
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP): We are very pleased to hear that your advisory committee is able to take the issue of the US’s travel restrictions seriously.
AlMajad: Yes, we are very happy to hear it.
Al ‘Majidd, AQAP, and US President Donald Trump.
Photo by APA photo/Getty Images.
Al-Mawlawi: This advisory committee has been working on the issue for a long time.
Al, a retired Egyptian military general, has been a member for some time.
He says he was part of an advisory group on travel restrictions that the Egyptian military made up to try to prevent the US invasion of Egypt in 2011.
Al: We were not involved in that, but we were concerned because our relations with the US were so poor.
Al Mansouri, former Egyptian military chief, was also a member, but he says he didn’t take part because he didn,t want to risk losing his job.
Al Ajaweed: The reason I am here today is because I have to say, we had a lot of support from the business community.
So this is very good news.
We had a very good meeting with President Trump.
Al Mawlawi, former head of the Egyptian delegation to the UN, says he has also been in touch with the Egyptian business community, including the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner.
Al Masri: The most important thing we got from the Trump team was that they were very interested in this issue and very concerned about it.
And they also said, Well, what if we could get the US back on its feet, and that we could build a more prosperous economy.
Al Mukhtar, CEO of Saudi Aramco, the largest state oil company, was a key member of Trump’s advisory group.
Al Makram: We came to know the Trump advisers because we worked for them, and they know the business in Egypt and the Arab world.
Al’Mawwar, former chief executive of Saudi Arabia’s National Oil Corporation, also said he had not expected Trump to appoint him as a member and that the appointment was unexpected.
Al Alawi, former CEO of Kuwait Oil and Gas, was one of the leaders of the advisory committee.
Al Maarouf: I was a little bit