ABC News’ Ben Gittleson reports:
U.S. students and researchers in Egypt are preparing to evacuate the country, after the State Department warned Americans to depart.
Fulbright program participants in Egypt are following the lead of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, which is evacuating all nonessential staff and families. Fulbright scholars and students must leave the country, too.
The Center for Arabic Study Abroad, an Arabic-language program in Cairo, is also evacuating its fellows, all of whom are from the United States. And the Washington-based American Councils for International Education is evacuating the 18 students in its Arabic Overseas Flagship Program in Alexandria, Egypt, The Associated Press reported.
“I’m hopeful that circumstances will permit my return,” James Casey, a student at the Center for Arabic Study Abroad, told ABC News.
Casey, who is also a fellow with the U.S.-based Institute of International Education’s Boren Fellowship program, is flying to Washington. “Fingers crossed that I can come back,” he said.
Some students are heading to nearby countries and waiting out the unrest, while others are returning to the United States.
Other Americans not connected to programs with mandatory evacuations are taking a wait-and-see approach. But for Hannah Cumming, today’s events were enough to send her and two friends packing.
“I think it is better to err on the side of caution and watch what happens in the next couple of weeks, with the hope of coming back,” Cumming, who is interning at a nonprofit in Cairo and now leaving for Jordan, told ABC News.
The evacuations come less than a week after a 21-year-old U.S. student was killed in Egypt during clashes between government supporters and opponents.