GW to pull students out of Egypt after Morsi’s fall

Millions of Egyptians have taken to the streets to demand Mohamed Morsi to step down as president. With Morsi out and Egypt in a state of flux, GW is moving to pull seven students out of the country. Photo by Gigi Ibrahim and used under the Wikimedia Commons license

Updated on July 6 at 12:15 p.m.

GW is moving to pull seven students out of Egypt after the country fell into further political upheaval.

The move comes after the U.S. State Department ordered Americans living in Egypt to evacuate, with the country now in a state of flux and without a constitution after the military ousted democratically elected Mohamed Morsi.

“Arrangements are underway for the students to depart,” Laura Ochs, associate director of the Office of Study Abroad, said in an email Thursday.

Students from University of Michigan and University of California at Davis, as well as U.S. Fulbright scholars have also been ordered to evacuate.

The move mirrors GW’s responses to previous incidents of international turbulence. The University evacuated about a dozen students from Egypt during the Arab Spring in 2011, as did other colleges. Safety concerns were heightened last week after an American student from Kenyon College was stabbed and killed during a protest.

“The university’s top priority is to ensure the safety and well-being of our students. Consistent with this, we have recommended that the four GW students in Egypt leave, and we have  arranged transportation via commercial flights for any student who wants to be evacuated,” GW spokeswoman Candace Smith said in an email.

Morsi faced resistance from millions of Egyptians because of the heavy influence of Islamists in his administration and a failure to turn around the country’s economy. Before the Egyptian military deposed of Morsi, Ochs said Tuesday that GW was waiting to “determine the best course of action for each student.”

At least one student, junior Anum Malik, has had a front-row seat to the protests as she defied orders to stay away from Tahrir Square and Morsi’s presidential palace.

– Mary Ellen McIntire and Jeremy Diamond contributed to this report. 

This article was updated July 6, 2013 to reflect the following: 

Seven GW students are studying in Egypt, not six, as was previously reported. An Office of Study Abroad official had previously stated that only six were in the country. 

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