Upload new images. The image library for this site will open in a new window.
Upload new documents. The document library for this site will open in a new window.
Show web part zones on the page. Web parts can be added to display dynamic content such as calendars or photo galleries.
Choose between different arrangements of page sections. Page layouts can be changed even after content has been added.
Move this whole section down, swapping places with the section below it.
Check for and fix problems in the body text. Text pasted in from other sources may contain malformed HTML which the code cleaner will remove.
Accordion feature turned off, click to turn on.
Accordion featurd turned on, click to turn off.
Change the way the image is cropped for this page layout.
Cycle through size options for this image or video.
Align the media panel to the right/left in this section.
Open the image pane in this body section. Click in the image pane to select an image from the image library.
Open the video pane in this body section. Click in the video pane to embed a video. Click ? for step-by-step instructions.
Remove the image from the media panel. This does not delete the image from the library.
Remove the video from the media panel.
In the days preceding the demonstrations, Prof. Yasser Payne's
study-abroad class enjoyed visits to the Pyramids and other historic
sites. Photo courtesy of Brooklynn Hitchens
10:20 a.m., Feb. 2, 2011----Brooklynn Hitchens' trip to Egypt was
amazing and fun with visits to the Sphinx, the Pyramids, the Cairo
Museum. But then things took a dark turn, says the 19-year-old
University of Delaware sophomore from Wilmington, Del.
Hitchens was one of 22 UD students evacuated from Egypt on Sunday.
She was on a study-abroad program in Black American Studies/Psychology
led by Prof. Yasser Payne and involving 10 students.
On Jan. 25, their adviser at the American University of Cairo (AUC)
alerted the group that a demonstration would be held in El-Tahrir Square
(Liberation Square) and that they shouldn't meet for classes downtown.
The demonstration escalated, and the next day, the Internet and phones were shut down.
It was unnerving, to say the least. No Facebook, no Skype, no phone calls, Hitchens says.
From their dorm roof at AUC, the UD group could see the black smoke
rising and feel the sting of teargas. They could see police and
civilians running down the street. The next day, the group was moved to a
hotel near the U.S. Embassy, but there were frightening moments there,
too, Hitchens says, when they had to go to their rooms and turn off the
lights, fearful of nearby rioters.
Move this whole section up, swapping places with the section above it.
Demonstrators set a pickup truck on fire near the hotel where UD
professor Audrey Helfman was staying in Alexandria, Egypt. Photo
courtesy of Audrey Helfman
Meanwhile in Alexandria, Prof. Audrey Helfman, faculty director of
the study-abroad program in leadership, and her husband saw a protester
climb the flagpole at the police station near their hotel, grab the
flag, and set it on fire. Then the rioters got a Toyota pickup and
pushed the vehicle into the fire. The police station burned.
At one point, Helfman says, they heard more screaming and didn't know
whether to run from the hotel. A volleyball team from Algeria staying
at the hotel advised them to stay in their room.
We just sat on the bed, holding hands and listening intently,
Helfman says. My only fear was that our building was going to burn.
Helfman credits tourist guide Hany Tawfik, whom she has worked with
for years, for getting her and her husband to the Alexandria airport for
the flight to Sharm-el-Sheikh, a resort on the Red Sea, where she
reunited with her 10 students, who had gone there in advance for their
first free weekend of the trip.
We really owe him a lot, Helfman says of Tawfik. He's just a super
guy. He usually works with big cruise lines, and we are the only
younger group he works with because he believes in what we are doing.
It's about leadership and listening to the people.
Helfman praises UD's Institute for Global Studies (IGS) for its support throughout the ordeal.
The UD team, under the direction of Lesa Griffiths, associate provost
for international programs, worked around the clock to bring the
students and faculty safely home and to keep in touch with concerned
Program coordinator Lukman Arsalan served as the point person for
communications with the hotels in Egypt and the University's travel
assistance and evacuation company there because he is a native speaker
I don't think he slept Friday or Saturday night because we could get
through on phones much better during the night, Griffiths says.
While Griffiths and Arsalan communicated with parents of the students
and Griffiths kept the UD administration informed, Lisa Chieffo, IGS
associate director, worked with travel agents to change flights and with
UD Procurement to make sure the study-abroad leaders had enough funds
to deal with the evacuation.
We literally had to respond to almost every CNN story parents saw --
and give them the latest information we had about what was happening
from people there, Griffiths says. Stephanie Countess's mom had just
returned from Cairo, and she offered all the other parents her
assessment of the airport environment, which eased a lot of concerns. So
we had parents helping us out, too!
But the real people to admire, Griffiths says, were Yasser Payne and Audrey Helfman.
They calmed the kids, kept them reassured, and did their best to try
to get calls out even if they were constantly cut off. They were
fantastic! Griffiths says.
Prior to their trip to Egypt, Audrey Helfman's students visited an
alumnus of UD's Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) program in
Morocco. When we were in Morocco, we heard what was happening in
Tunisia and were told it could spread through North Africa, but we never
thought it would spread as fast as it did," said UD student Lauren
Praedin. Below, is a video provided by Prof. Helfman.
Paul Coleman, parent of Julia Coleman, who was on the Cairo trip,
wrote University President Patrick Harker a letter of thanks for the
thoroughness of the planning that went into this trip (especially plans
for dealing with unexpected emergencies) and for the professionalism of
all involved. The University should be proud.
Comments from other UD study-abroad students:
Stephanie Countess, a senior environmental engineering major from
Moorestown, N.J., says: My heart goes out to the Egyptian people, who
have suffered for years from poverty, unemployment and the lack of basic
human rights. I only hope that these protests remain peaceful and that
the demonstrations result in these citizens being granted the
fundamental rights that they deserve. I have never met a group of people
more motivated for change or so deserving of it.
Lauren Praedin, a sophomore from Allentown, Pa., who is majoring in
human services with a minor in leadership, notes: When we were in
Morocco, we heard what was happening in Tunisia and were told it could
spread through North Africa, but we never thought it would spread as
fast as it did. It's kind of exciting to see what's going on. I support
what the people are doing. They have a right to protest. Personally,
I've never been interested in world politics, but I plan on staying
informed with everything now. I'm glad that we all were able to get home
safe. Overall, it was a great experience.
Article by Tracey Bryant
Originally published by UDaily.