U of M students, professors in Egypt during unrest - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

U of M students, professors in Egypt during unrest

By Jamel Major - bio | email | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - As unrest continued in Egypt Thursday, a group of University of Memphis students and professors are in the country keeping a close eye on the turmoil.

Dr. Lorelei Corcoran, Director of the Institute of Egyptian Art and Archeology at the University of Memphis, said the group is not in any immediate danger. They are trying to do what they can to stay in touch with their friends and colleagues at the university.

"We're deeply concerned for our students and faculty who are there," said Corcoran.

Corcoran said e-mail and cell phone calls have been the only ways of connecting with the two University of Memphis professors and two graduate students who are currently in Egypt conducting research.

Mariam Ayad, an associate professor of art history, is in Cairo.

"Dr. Ayad and her family live in a suburb of Cairo and she's very distraught over the situation in Tahrir Square," said Corcoran. "It's very disturbing."

At least eight people have been killed in the fighting around Cairo's Tahrir Square.

Suzanne Onstine, an assistant professor of history, and two doctoral students are researching tombs in Luxor, approximately 400 miles from Cairo.

"The situation in Luxor where Dr. Onstine and two of her graduate students are working, they feel very secure and they are working already on their project in a tomb on the West Bank," said Corcoran.

Corcoran said while the faculty and students do not feel threatened right now, they do plan to stay put at least for now.

"We're just going to wait it out and see what happens," said Corcoran.

Corcoran said the group hopes to stay in Egypt until mid-March.

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