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State of Emergency Delcared in Three Egyptian Cities

Monday, January 28, 2013

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has declared a state of emergency and curfew in the cities of Suez, Ismailia and Port Said. Protests in the three cities began as a second anniversary commemoration of the 2011 revolution that ultimately ousted longtime president Hosni Mubarek, but the anniversary demonstrations turned into anti-Morsi protests in some places.

All three cities are several hours from our program sites in Cairo and Alexandria, so our students should not be affected by the state of emergency or curfew. IFSA-Butler will update our audiences on this situation as necessary.

For more information:

Link to Egypt map

BBC

CNN

New York Times

 
Egypt Demonstrations-January 25

Friday, January 25, 2013

Today in Egypt, citizens are gathering in numerous locations throughout the country to demonstrate for the 2nd anniversary of the 2011 revolution. Large numbers of Egyptians have turned out in both central Cairo and Alexandria, where IFSA-Butler programs are located. Demonstrations are expected to continue through tomorrow, January 26, in anticipation of the court verdict for the critical incident at the Port Said soccer match last year.

The IFSA-Butler resident director in Egypt has confirmed that all students are accounted for and doing well. Since today is Friday, there are no classes at the university. Therefore, students have been instructed to remain in their apartments the entire day. IFSA-Butler will continue to monitor events happening around Egypt and provide updates as necessary. For more information, please see the following online media sources:

 
Protests in Northern Ireland

Protests have developed in Northern Ireland following a decision by the Belfast City Council to fly the British flag on certain days only, ending the century-old practice of flying the flag of Great Britain all year round. Most of the protests were peaceful, but some turned violent as demonstrators threw bricks, fireworks and homemade bombs at police.

The British flag has long been a political flashpoint in Northern Ireland's struggles between pro-British loyalists and nationalists who want Northern Ireland to join the Republic of Ireland. Violence between the two groups fell sharply following the peace process in the 1990s, but clashes continue to erupt occasionally.

IFSA-Butler currently has no students in Northern Ireland. Our spring semester students will arrive later in January and will receive detailed safety information at the IFSA-Butler orientation.

For more information, we recommend the following news sites:

CNN

BBC

Belfast Telegraph

 
Australia Battling Wildfires

Wildfires began in Australia over the weekend and are raging across many parts of the country. Officials have evacuated numerous residential areas and are sifting through burned buildings to ensure that there are no deaths.

Though wildfires are common during the Australian summer, record high temperatures and high winds are making the fires devastating this year. In addition, officials believe that arsonists are responsible for at least some of the blazes. Firefighters hope that the cooler weather predicted for the next few days will help ease conditions. Monday was the hottest day on record for Australia, with the average temperature across the continent reaching 104.6 degrees.

IFSA-Butler's spring semester in Australia will not begin until February, so our students are not currently affected by this situation.

For more information, we recommend the following news sources:

Sydney Morning Herald

News.com.au

Australian Broadcasting Corporation

 
Political Protests in Cairo

Thursday, December 6, 2012

IFSA-Butler is continuing to keep in close contact with students in Egypt as political protests continue. Last night's protests outside of the Presidential Palace in Cairo ended in violence with five deaths and over 400 injuries. Demonstrations also took place in Alexandria outside the office of the Muslim Brotherhood, but no deaths have been reported in Alexandria.

Our resident director in Egypt, Dr. Mohamed El-Komi, reports that the Heliopolis neighborhood in Cairo, where the Presidential Palace is located, and Alexandria are quiet. Egyptians are awaiting President Morsi's televised address scheduled for today.

IFSA-Butler considers student safety and wellbeing our top priority. We are continuing to provide students with relevant updates, and Dr. El-Komi is in daily contact with IFSA-Butler administrators in the U.S. While we do not anticipate that the situation in Egypt will worsen while our students are abroad, IFSA-Butler has an effective response plan in place to ensure the safety and security of our students. In the unlikely event that this plan is needed, we will maintain frequent communication with parents and U.S. universities.

During orientation, our resident staff discuss at length with students how to stay safe while living in Egypt, including avoiding all large gatherings and protests. We have emphasized these guidelines again to our students who are currently in Alexandria.

For further information, we recommend the following news outlets:

The New York Times

BBC

Al Jazeera

Washington Post


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Protests have erupted in Cairo between supporters and opponents of Egypt's president, Mohammed Morsi. Peaceful demonstrations began several days ago in Tarhir Square, but today's protests moved to the Presidential Palace in north Cairo and turned more violent. IFSA-Butler currently has no students in Cairo.

While there have been demonstrations in Alexandria, most have been peaceful and are a considerable distance from Alexandria University and even farther from where our students live. IFSA-Butler staff in Egypt have confirmed that all of our Alexandria students are safe and attending classes as usual.

For more information on this situation, we recommend the following news sources:

BBC

CNN

Al-Jazeera

 

 
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