American Students Evacuated From Egypt on Declining Security Conditions


American Councils for International Education, a U.S.-based international education and training organization is sending away 18 Arabic language program students from Egypt to Morocco due to declining security conditions in the region.

Armine Poghikyan, who manages the program, said that a part of the Arabic Overseas Flagship Program started in Egypt on June 21 at Alexandria University. She said that the officials decided to move the program to Meknes, Morocco, amid recurring violence in the country.

Poghikyan said that the students will be leaving Egypt 'before the weekend.' The 18 students belong to Michigan State, Oklahoma, Michigan, Texas and Maryland universities.

"In recent days, it had become clear that in order to guarantee the safety of our students in Egypt, it had become necessary to establish curfews and limitations on their movements," American Councils' President Dan Davidson said. "The students essentially had to give up many of the kinds of informal language contacts and cultural exploration that overseas immersion study is designed to provide."

The University of Michigan said that eight of their students (seven undergraduate and one graduate) from The American University in Cairo will also be evacuated from the city to ultimately return to the U.S. The students originally came to the country for a two-month cultural program.

"The uncertainty of the situation in Cairo in the days ahead made this decision very clear for us," James Holloway, university vice provost for global and engaged education, said.

The university also said that three other students in another Arabic language study course in Cairo are being shifted to Amman, Jordan.

On the other hand, Georgetown University is providing help to five of its graduate students in Egypt to leave the country as soon as possible. The university has also decided to suspend study-abroad programs to Egypt this fall.

Egypt's first civilian democratic president, 'Mohamed Morsi' elected just over a year ago, has been ousted by the military at the end of a 48-hour ultimatum. On Wednesday night, the military also suspended the Islamic-based constitution and placed Morsi under house arrest.

Morsi was given two days to resolve the crisis by negotiating with the opposition groups.

Adly Mansour, head of the country's Supreme Constitutional Court, has been chosen as Egypt's interim president until a new presidential election is held later in 2013. 

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