In the last few days, hundreds of American college students have fled Egypt, many on flights chartered by the U.S. State Department that dropped them off in Turkey, Greece or Cyprus. From there, students were on their own to find a way home to the states or to another study-abroad program. Some of those students are waiting to see whether they can go back to Egypt.
Early Tuesday morning, I went over to Georgetown University and sat in on a teleconference with 15 students who were studying at the American University in Cairo and evacuated Monday to Georgetown's campus in Qatar. Afterward, two student reporters and I asked the students questions. (Here's the full article from today's paper.)
The students have quite a few stories to tell about the history they witnessed, and many said they were worried about their Egyptian friends, classmates and roommates who were left behind. When the Georgetown students left, the situation was getting more dangerous, the city felt less safe and stores were running out of food. The students encouraged their peers to learn about the situation and join social media movements.
"I really felt like something incredible was happening right in front of our eyes," said Melissa Mannis, a Georgetown junior from New York who let several of her Egyptian friends crash in her apartment when the protests began and they couldn't safely get home. "We knew that we needed to get out. But, truthfully if I can find a way back and be there safely, I would do it in a heartbeat."
And here's an update on other colleges that had students studying in Egypt:
Middlebury College: There were 37 students from two American colleges studying at Middlebury's program in Alexandria. All of the students boarded a Boeing 737 on Monday night and flew to Prague. From there, the students planned to fly home via commercial flights. (Boston Herald article)
American University: Of the 11 students who were studying in Egypt, only one remained there Wednesday. (Eagle Article)
George Washington University: There were 14 GW undergraduates studying in Cairo and Alexandria this semester through three different programs. As of Tuesday, a dozen of those students had safely left the country, while two decided to stay in Egypt with relatives. (Hatchet article)
University of Maryland: There were seven students studying in Egypt, one at the university in Cairo and six in Alexandria. Many of the students in the Alexandria program were already out of the country on break, and the remaining students flew to Dubai Monday night.
Johns Hopkins University: In all, the university helped to evacuate five undergraduates, eight grad students, one alumnus, one faculty member, four staff members, four family members and one other affiliate from Egypt. Some of the undergraduates were studying at the American University in Cairo, and the faculty member was at an archaeological dig in Luxor with three grad students.
College of William and Mary: One student was studying in Cairo, and he flew to Istanbul on Monday night.
George Mason University: One student was studying in Cairo and planned to be home by Tuesday night.
Washington College: One senior was taking classes in Cairo and planned to catch a flight home Monday.
Dickinson College: Two students were studying in Cairo. Both left on Monday and are now back on campus.
I know there are lots and lots of other colleges who have evacuated students. Shoot me an e-mail, and I will try to add them to the list.