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Frank Stasio, host of WUNC's "State of Things" welcomed former DukeEngage in Cairo, Egypt particpants Julia Janco, Nali Gillespie and Stephen Arena as well as the program's site coordinator, James Spenser, to discuss the early end of their summer of service in Cairo due to national unrest in Egypt. The segment aired Thursday, July 18.
Civil unrest in Egypt has led to the indefinite suspension of the DukeEngage in Cairo, Egypt program. On Wednesday, July 3, Duke's International Travel and Oversight Committee placed restrictions on all travel to the nation. See the news announcement here.
Eleven students were taking part in this summer's program, which was in its fourth week of service. Participants worked with several community partners assisting with teaching literacy skills to refugees, supporting youth with physical disabilities, and offering assistance with community development.
One of DukeEngage's longest-standing initiatives, the program has been in place since 2008.
Upon the return of students home, Eric Mlyn, executive director of DukeEngage, issued an email to participants and their parents, stating, "From the time we decided to continue DukeEngage in Cairo after the 2011 revolution, we have monitored the program with particular vigilance due to the changing political landscape in the country and region. So the end of this program, while, of course, disappointing at so many levels, is not a total surprise." He also acknowledged the leadership of the program's leader, Mbaye Lo, assistant professor of the practice, Asian & Middle Eastern Studies. Said Mlyn, "[Dr Lo's] perspective on current events and his desire to share this perspective with others is the deepest reflection of why we do these kinds of programs."
DukeEngage will continue to evaluate Egypt's political landscape to determine whether the program will be offered again in 2014.