U.S. student opts to stay in Egypt
A man shouts slogans during Tuesday's protest at Cairo's Tahrir Square.
February 1st, 2011
11:17 AM ET

U.S. student opts to stay in Egypt

Thousands of American tourists and residents are fleeing Cairo, taking State Department-chartered flights sent to ferry American citizens out of the escalating crisis zone. But amid the chaos, one young American woman has decided to stay and document the uprising from the frontlines.

Lauren Bohn, a 23-year-old Fulbright Fellow studying Arabic and journalism at American University in Cairo, told CNN's "American Morning" on Tuesday what she is seeing on the ground and what prompted her to remain in Cairo.

"I've been caught in some tear gas and bumped around a few times, but, if anything, the people here on the ground are very protective of foreigners," Bohn says.

"It's been essentially a media blackstorm," Bohn said about reports of media outages in Cairo. "I was able to tweet yesterday for about an hour. I found internet. I can't tell you where I found it, but I was able to upload some video and people have been able to call me on my cell phone, on my Blackberry."

Bohn said although she's been unable to make outgoing international calls, she can receive them. "It's been completely demobilizing, and, of course, that's the whole point," she said.

She said she has not felt any danger or hostility toward Americans from demonstrators.

"They're embracing me on the ground and embracing people on the ground," Bohn said.

"They want to make sure that the U.S. government is hearing them."

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soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Laura Cleveland

    If we still want to have Egypt as a strong ally in a Middle East, we must support brave Egyptian people in their fight for the freedom and demonstrate them what our President stated in his speech in Cairo, we really mean it.

    February 1, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Cesar

    Laura is in the majority vote. I am not so sure I support the demonstrators. Their eyes show so much hate. What if the Egyptian people turn against us? What if they support anti-American leaders that want war with Israel. The start of WW111???

    February 1, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
  3. TNgirl

    I guess I'd have post-stress syndrome if I was up to my elbows in dog blood. This guy was a sick even before he committed this act – I guarantee it!

    February 1, 2011 at 1:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Huh?

      And this has what to do with a student in Egypt???

      February 1, 2011 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Rlh2104

    @Laura Cleveland
    AGREED! Power to the Egyptians!
    The way people look when protesting is totally different from the way they look when things calm down and life goes back to governance and day to day living. Don't freak yourself out. Also, why else would you participate in such incredible protests unless you *hated* your situation? The hate is natural, and I think these people are channeling it well and will continue to do so- with a constructive and society-enhancing outcome.

    I think Israel is irrelevant here. Any new government in Egypt is going to have to spend a lot of time getting things together at home. Will there be some anti-Israel rhetoric to boost cohesion here or there? I'm sure there will. Will it come to fruition? I doubt it. No one wants the entire region thrown into war. Especially these protesters. They want economic opportunities, and starting a war will make getting them impossible.

    Also, as an America Jew friendly to Israel, I feel strongly that fear of armed conflict should not stop the international community and/or the USA from supporting a peoples' right to economic self-determination. Sure, Gaza used their elections to pick war mongers, but the West Bank didn't and violence is down there. These things are inherently unpredictable. All we can do is support fairness and justice when we see it, and hope the favor is returned.

    Maybe, with all the prejudice against Muslims living in Europe, the Israel's neighbors will start to figure out why the Jews don't see going back there to be an option, and never really considered it home despite it being a Jewish population center for a few centuries.

    February 1, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Georgia Pink

    Sorry, I strongly believe in ideals but you are foolish to stay in a foreign country that is in such turmoil. Trust me, America will hear about what is going on without your silly dilly @$$ putting your life in jeopardy. Ahhh youth....

    February 1, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stephanie

      I find it interesting that journalists such as Anderson Cooper, who is always in direct line of fire when it comes to major events occurring around the world, are revered for their work in the field and recognized for their bravery. But when it comes to a new US journalist, who is coming upon her first opportunity for real reporting and fully seizing that opportunity, is thought of as naive or "silly dilly" because she is young.

      As for Lauren, excellent job and good luck with your journey.

      February 3, 2011 at 11:17 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Laura Cleveland

    Cesar. Egyptian people will not turn against us, but hypocrisy, arrogance, double standards, and pre-justice can turn any people against us. I married an Egyptian and I visited the country several times. I met so many great people there.

    February 1, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cesar

      Very well said,Laura. Just ignore the clown who keeps posting under my name,please.

      February 1, 2011 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Kat

    @Cesar - Watch this short interview with a young woman at the square in Cairo. She is calm, determined, articulate. It might help you understand. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RtLJpzUp2Z8 If I could I'd be in Egypt right now.

    February 1, 2011 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Cesar

    OK, thanks.

    February 1, 2011 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
  9. pokeronthery

    Its called a suicide wish

    February 1, 2011 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Cesar

    @ *Cesar, He's baaaackk.

    February 1, 2011 at 7:56 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Cesar

    @*Cesar, you forgot to mention Rlh2104 and Kat, who along with Laura sound very informed on the subject. If you refuse to place a star by your name, I'll place it for you. No offense, but your ideology isn't my cup of tea. Thank you.

    February 1, 2011 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Person

    Israel is becoming a nation. http://nopolicestate.blogspot.com/2011/01/egypt_29.html

    February 3, 2011 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |