Jul 01, 2013 03:43 AM EDT
American Student Killed in Egyptian Anti-Government Protests
Andrew Pochter, a 21-year-old Kenyon College student was killed Friday in a protest in the coastal city of Alexandria, Egypt, during anti-government demonstrations outside a Muslim Brotherhood office.
Pochter of Chevy Chase, Maryland died during the violent conflict between opponents and supporters of President, Mohamed Morsi.
According to Egyptian officials, Potcher was stabbed in the chest while he was recording the protest on his small camera.
Potcher's family said that he traveled to Alexandria for the summer to teach English to 7 and 8-year-old Egyptian children and improve his Arabic before returning to the U.S. His family claimed that he was witnessing the protest as a bystander.
"He went to Egypt because he cared profoundly about the Middle East, and he planned to live and work there in the pursuit of peace and understanding," the family said. Andrew was a wonderful young man looking for new experiences in the world and finding ways to share his talents while he learned."
Pochter was set to graduate from Kenyon College in 2015. He was a student leader in Hillel House, a 'campus centre for Jewish life'. Kenyon College issued a statement:
"Pochter was an intern at AMIDEAST, an American non-profit organization engaged in international education, training and development activities in the Middle East and North Africa. The AMIDEAST internship is not a Kenyon program."
Kathleen O'Neil, an American teacher who worked along with Pochter in Egypt, said that she was surprised hearing about his death. O'Neil described the student as 'such a gifted, enthusiastic, informed, curious, adventurous and positive human being is gone'.
The Muslim Brotherhood said that eight of its offices had been attacked Friday, including the one in Alexandria. Officials said that more than 200 people were injured and eight people died during the clashes in the city. The attackers in Nile Delta cities had burnt offices of the president's supporters in the Muslim Brotherhood.
On Sunday, thousands of protesters gathered around Tahrir Square and the president's palace, filling the streets on the one-year anniversary of his rule to demand for his resignation and call for early elections. The opposing public are unhappy with fuel shortages, power cuts, troubled economy and rising crime in the state.
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