Students had to escape (Illustration)
Photo: Index Open
Photo: Ron Peled
Hebrew University, Jerusalem
Photo: Ron Peled

Foreign students abandon Egypt for Israel

As riots escalated, 12 students of Cairo's American University moved to Jerusalem to continue studies

Hundreds of foreigners studying in Egypt had to cut the semester short as result of the recent unrest. While some joined the protests and others went home, 12 students from the American University in Cairo decided to continue the Middle Eastern chapter in their lives, and complete their studies at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.


Six "refugees" of the recent revolution sat at the Hebrew University's campus on Monday, and discussed the experience that changed the course of so many people's lives – including their own.


The 20-year-old Harrison Cooper from Santa Barbara, California, admitted that in the first few days of the uprising he did not believe that it would amount to much. Cooper, whose dorms were juxtaposed to Tahrir Square, said that he watched the revolt grow stronger before his eyes. He and some of his fellow students left for Madrid to wait out the upheaval, but when he realized things wouldn't calm down so quickly, he decided to continue his degree in Israel.


Not scared of returning

Morgan Walsh, a 21-year-old who is working toward her Middle East Studies degree, said that her home university offered her three alternatives to Cairo: Germany, Korea and Israel. Though slightly taken aback by the furious revolt, she said that everyone was very nice to her during her stay in the Egyptian capital. She added that she will certainly return to Egypt one day.


Los Angeles resident Thomas Corgan, 30, said that nothing about the students' departure was organized. They were picked up from the dorms and immediately taken to the airport. He was forced to leave his cat behind.


Corgan, who was studying for a Master's Degree in Arabic, said he will return to Cairo, in part because of the friends he made. The people that he came to know, he said, are the real winners in the revolution.


On Monday, the university appeared to return to normal activity.


Sophie Tahran, 21, said that her former dorm roommate, a resident of Egypt, remained in Cairo to join the riots. Tahran was recently able to get in touch with her friend, who said classes have resumed. "Who knows," Tahran said, "Maybe everything is going in a good direction."



פרסום ראשון: 02.15.11, 19:11
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