MIDDLEBURY - It became the a year of living dangerously for 22 Middlebury College students stuck in Egypt during the current uprising.
All 22 students studying with Middlebury College's program in Alexandria, Egypt, have made it safely to the Alexandria airport, according to college officials. Jeff Cason, dean of international programs, assured parents Jan. 29 that the airport is secure and guarded by the army.
"Two Middlebury staff members are with the students at the airport, and staff in the International Programs office in Middlebury are in regular contact with our staff in Egypt. We expect that the students will be leaving the Alexandria airport tomorrow, and that their first stop outside Egypt will be Athens, from where students will travel back to the United States," Cason said in a memo. "We will provide further updates when they become available."
"As I am sure you all know by now, the political situation in Egypt is currently very unstable, with mass riots in Cairo, Suez, and various other cities, including Alexandria, where we have 22 students, 5 from Middlebury and 17 from other institutions," Michael Geisler, college vice president for language schools, schools abroad, and graduate programs, told parents over the weekend. "Our students are not in any immediate danger. All 22 have been contacted, are accounted for and have been told to stay in their dorms or apartments until further notice. Although internet and cell phone service in Egypt is limited, we have been able to communicate with Alexandria via landline connections."
According to Geisler's memo, staff in the office of international programs has been in contact with all the students' parents as well as study abroad offices at the other colleges and universities (for the non-Middlebury participants in the program), sharing whatever information we have on the students' status.
Americans in Alexandria are not in danger since the demonstrations have focused on the police.
"As long as our students stay in their rooms, they should continue to be safe. That said, the political situation in Egypt is obviously in flux, and so we hope to move the students as soon as possible," Geisler noted.
The year of living dangerously: unrest in Egypt affected students from Middlebury College.
Photo courtesy U.S State Department