U students to evacuate Egypt

The two students are scheduled to depart Tuesday.

Evelina Smirnitskaya

Two University of Minnesota students studying abroad in Cairo will evacuate Egypt on Tuesday, joining thousands of foreigners who are leaving the country as tensions within that country continue to escalate.

Massive political protests, driven largely by youth movements, have been sweeping Egypt since last week. With civil unrest rising in the country, and facing food scarcity and security questions, more and more foreign citizens are deciding to leave. The police withdrew from the street three days ago, leading to an escalation of street violence.

The U.S. State Department has already evacuated 1,200 Americans and expects to fly out 1,400 more this week.

The State Department and the American University in Cairo, which the students attended during their stay, are coordinating the studentsâÄô evacuation. The majority of the arrangements, however, will be made by the UniversityâÄôs insurance provider, which will also pay for the studentsâÄô trips.

Martha Johnson, director of the UniversityâÄôs Learning Abroad Center, said she could not disclose any personal information on the students due to privacy issues. But, to the centerâÄôs knowledge, the two students are the only ones affiliated with the UniversityâÄôs entire five-campus system who are currently in Egypt.

The students “were not required” to leave Egypt, but it was a “good decision âĦ everyone [involved] came to,” she said.

The LAC is currently working with the two students on “what is a really tough transition” and discussing possible academic options for the remainder of the semester, Johnson said.

The University also has study abroad programs in Jordan, Oman, United Arab Emirates and Morocco. Johnson said LAC is communicating with other programs and monitoring the situation throughout the region, but so far no other students have expressed concern.


âÄîThe Associated Press contributed to this report