Messages to the Georgetown Community

January 31, 2011

Dear Members of the Georgetown University Community:
Many of us have been watching the events unfold in Cairo, Egypt over the past few days.  As we monitored the situation, it was clear over the weekend that we needed to take steps to ensure the safety of the members of our community who were abroad there at this time.  Fifteen undergraduates were just beginning their semester of study at the American University of Cairo (AUC).  After careful consideration, and following guidance from the U.S. State Department and American University of Cairo officials, Georgetown yesterday made the decision to get our students out of the country and began working to make appropriate arrangements.  Thanks to the help of many individuals, especially colleagues at our campus in Doha, Qatar, I am pleased to report that all of our students are out of Cairo and have now landed safely in Qatar where they will remain for the next few days.
For the past several days, staff members from the Office of International Programs have been in regular touch with officials from the U.S.  Department of State, AUC personnel, our students, and our students’ families and have worked tirelessly to understand the evolving nature of events and make the best decisions to keep our students safe.  Getting our students out of Egypt safely and as quickly as possible was our primary goal.  I am deeply grateful to the many individuals involved in this effort and for the care our community has shown for one another.  We will now begin to focus on the appropriate next steps to meet students’ individual needs as they consult with their families and academic advisors.
As much as we are appreciative of the fact that our students are safe, we must also continue to be mindful of the ongoing unrest in Egypt.  We pray for the safety and wellbeing of the many others who remain in the region, and we are seeking to understand these events.  Our thoughts and prayers remain with those in the midst of the current conflict.
John J. DeGioia