All second year language students on study programmes in Egypt were flown home on Wednesday, after the University advised that evacuation was the safest option.
A liaison officer from the Faculty of Oriental Studies suggested on Monday that students based in Cairo and Luxor should leave. All 11 students have now flown back to the UK, as violence and rioting in Egypt escalates.
Isobel Platts-Dunn, a second year Spanish and Arabic student, flew home from Luxor on Wednesday night. She explained, “We were contacted on Monday by a liaison officer at the Oxford Faculty of Oriental Studies, who suggested we should leave; we were told that it was our decision, but that the Faculty strongly suggests we go home.”
The same phone call was made to a student in Luxor. At that time, all lines of communication in Cairo had been cut by the government.
“There was no internet, phone line or television in Cairo. The situation was really dangerous there. It was not quite as bad in Luxor – the army were there but there was no tear gas, and no people throwing firebombs like in Cairo”, Platts-Dunn added.
Following this message from the Oriental Faculty on Monday, the seven students who were in Cairo made their way to the airport as soon as possible, where they stayed overnight and caught a flight home Wednesday morning.
The remaining four students, who were on a two week study programme in Luxor, arrived at the airport on Wednesday and flew back to London the same night.
Platts-Dunn commented, “It’s so nice to see all my friends in Oxford. But I just want to go back to Egypt as soon as possible.”
The British government continue to advise against all but essential travel to Cairo, Alexandria, Luxor and Suez.