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Gauchos Depart Turbulent Egypt

A number of UCSB students
who were compelled to evacuate
their study abroad programs in
Egypt last week by the U.S. State
Dept. are now scattered across
the Middle East and U.S., their
studies cut short by nearly three
months.

Up to 19 UC students had their
classes at the American University
in Cairo canceled and endured
nearly a week of escalating political
upheaval in Egypt’s capital before
the State Dept. released a travel
advisory mandating their removal
from the region. The group of students
— four of whom are current
UCSB students — were flown to
Barcelona, Spain on Feb. 1 and
proceeded to make separate travel
plans from there.

While UCSB students Vivian
Chui and Geoff Cloepfil returned
to the United States this weekend,
Jeremy Hodge and Sophie Tahran
opted to finish their semester of
Middle East studies — which
commenced in August — at Israel’s
Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Coincidentally, alumnus
Brendan Geck, who moved to
Egypt after graduating from the
political science department last
spring, has been residing in Cairo
since Jan. 7. Geck said he will
travel to Jerusalem tomorrow and
meet up with former schoolmates
Hodge and Tahran.

Geck said he was physically
harmed during the slew of protests
that erupted in Cairo.

“I attended the first day of
protests in the square and was
tear gassed a little and hit with
two rubber pellets (shoulder and
head),” he said in a Facebook message.
“I was also in the protests
for the ensuing Friday, Saturday,
Tuesday and Wednesday.”

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