Aya Hijazi, an Egyptian-American charity worker arrested in Cairo in May 2014, arrived in the U.S. on a government plane Thursday night along with her Egyptian husband, Mohamed Hassanein. Both of them had been detained by the Egyptian government for three years on child abuse and human trafficking charges widely dismissed as fabricated. President Trump had quietly worked for Hijazi's release, senior administration officials told The Washington Post and The New York Times, getting assurances that President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi would secure her release before Trump hosted Sisi at the White House earlier this month.
On Sunday, a court in Cairo suddenly dismissed all charges against Hijazi, Hassanein, and four aid workers for the charity the couple had set up to help Cairo street children. Former President Barack Obama's administration had pushed for the release of Hijazi, a U.S. citizen, but Obama had also barred Sisi from the White House because he had taken power in a 2013 coup, cracked down on all dissent, and was accused of other human rights abuses. Trump, on the other hand, praised Sisi during his White House visit.
White House officials call Hijazi's release a triumph of Trump's discreet, behind-the-scenes diplomacy, and a senior administration official told The Washington Post there was no quid pro quo offered for the acquittals. Hijazi and her husband are expected to meet with Trump, his daughter Ivanka, and son-in-law Jared Kushner at the White House on Friday.