Hebrew University 88.
(photo credit: )
Twelve students from overseas who fled the violence that gripped Cairo during
the 18-day “January 25 revolution” have been greeted with open arms at their new
place of study: The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
administrative director at the Rothberg School’s division of undergraduate
studies said the initiative to take in the 12 students had come from both sides
of the ocean.
“We work with many different universities in North
America. Some of them reached out to us, and we reached out to some of
them as well, telling them if they need assistance and have students who want to
stay in the Middle East and continue their studies, we’re happy to help out,” he
Kaplan said the 12 students, who had been enrolled at Egyptian
universities as part of study abroad programs at the University of California,
Princeton University, Michigan State University and Allegheny University, will
still be able to study Arabic, but will also benefit from other perspectives and
study tracks that they had not originally intended.
“Jerusalem is a world
center for Middle Eastern studies, and we have many experts on Islam and offer
them Arabic, Palestinian and Islamic studies, plus a course in international
relations. They can certainly learn Middle Eastern studies here no less than
they could in Cairo,” Kaplan noted.
“We’ve been more flexible with them
than with other studyabroad students because they chose to study in Cairo and
never intended to study Hebrew, so we’re not forcing them to do so,” he went on,
adding that the students “now have a unique chance to study both sides of the
Kaplan did add that the students, who started their studies on
Sunday, would get a different orientation than they’d had in mind and would
probably need some time to get used to their new surroundings.
they’ve already felt that the prices are different here,” he said. “They’re
surprised that they can drink the water out of the faucet here or that they
can’t buy street food here for 15 cents, and they realize that they moved from a
developing country to a technologically advanced and expensive
Seven of the students arrived on campus a week ago, and five
arrived Sunday. With classes starting Sunday and the search for dormitory and
other housing still not complete for the Cairo 12, Kaplan said, “It’s been a
really hectic day for all of us.”
Nonetheless, even if their new
surroundings take some getting used to after the chaos and turmoil they saw in
Cairo, the opportunity to continue studying in the region is not lost on the
students, according to Kaplan.
“They realize that they are seeing
history,” he explained. “True, things are somewhat in turmoil, but they are
seeing important changes in the region”.
Nancy Kanach, director of the
Office of International Programs at Princeton University, said Sunday, “We are
grateful to the staff at the Hebrew University for being so responsive to our
request to enroll two Princeton students at the Hebrew University, where the
students can continue to study Arabic and Middle East issues at this important
time in the region.”