All five Princeton undergraduates who were in Egypt to start the spring semester have left on flights as unrest in the country grew and protesters continued to call for the ouster of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak.
Four students who were about to begin classes at the American University of Cairo left Egypt Feb. 1 on a U.S. State Department flight and have landed in Istanbul, said Nancy Kanach, senior associate dean of the college and director of the Office of International Programs. Kanach’s office has been in constant contact with the students whose cell phones are operating.
The fifth student, who had started in January at a Middlebury College program in Alexandria, left on a charter flight and landed in Prague Jan. 31, Kanach said.
“We’ve been in touch with them the whole time, every couple hours, because things were changing very quickly,” Kanach said. The four students in Cairo spent two nights in the airport, she said. The security service International SOS, which serves faculty and students on University-sponsored trips overseas, helped to arrange for students to get on two different charter flights from Cairo, but the flights were cancelled. Finally, the students got on the U.S. State Department flight.
Now Kanach’s office is helping them return home to the United States. The students, she said, “have been amazing dealing with the ups and downs of this ordeal.”
Update (Feb. 3, 2011)
According to University spokeswoman Emily Aronson, there are two Princeton graduate students in Cairo. The students are safe, and the University has been in communication with them and their families to make arrangements for them to leave the country.