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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


UPDATED: Two students exit Egypt

Two UA students currently studying abroad in Egypt are evacuating from the country as a result of ongoing political turmoil.

Meredith Hay, the UA provost, sent a message to the campus in which she assured everyone that the two students in Egypt at the time of the protests had decided to leave the country.

“”UA personnel have been in frequent contact with each of the UA students in Egypt since the protests began,”” Hay wrote. ””We have worked with our study abroad partners to offer the necessary resources to these individuals to ensure their safety and security, and will continue to do so as they leave the country.””

The U.S. Department of State has issued a travel warning against Egypt, as the country continues to be embroiled in protests against longtime President Hosni Mubarak.

That warning also orders the departure of all non-vital emergency personnel from the country.

The two students were involved in a study abroad program administered by University of Texas at Austin and hosted at American University of Cairo. Leila Hudson, an associate professor in the Near Eastern Studies department, said the decision to recommend the students leave the country was made on Tuesday. She also said she had been in touch with the students since Egypt lifted the ban on Internet use in the country on Wednesday.

“”By Wednesday morning, when the Egyptian president (Mubarak) made his speech in which he did not indicate that he would make a transition, that sort of foreshadowed the violence,”” Hudson said. “”At that point, things began to get ugly and we began to think about the logistics of the students’ departure.””

Hudson praised the quick action of the UA Campus Emergency Response Team, which compiled data on all students studying abroad in the region so the UA could contact them.

One of the students will be traveling to Europe to wait and see if the situation in Egypt improves. Hudson did not know the plans of the other student.

Hudson said that the UA does not currently have any students studying in other countries with active protests, such as Yemen or Lebanon, but that there is one student in Syria, one in Jordan, and “”several”” in Turkey.

“”None of those students are under recommendation to leave as of now,”” Hudson said.  

Hudson said the UA’s recommendation was to help ensure the safety of the students.

“”The UA wanted to do anything that we could, whether that be facilitating communications or making sure we take care of financial issues, so that they knew their safety was our primary concern and we would do whatever it would take to help them,”” Hudson said.

Hudson said she could not provide any personal information about the students due to restrictions pertaining to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.  

Hay wrote that no UA personnel were currently in the country, but any who were planning to travel to the Middle East should contact Gail Burd, vice provost for academic affairs, “”to initiate the approval process and discuss potential options for deferring travel.””

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