American Student Killed in Egypt During Antigovernment Protest
A 21-year-old Kenyon college student was stabbed to death Friday in Alexandria during a violent confrontation between supporters and opponents of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi.
According to a statement released by the college, Andrew Pochter, who was going to enter his junior year this fall, had been spending his summer working at AMIDEAST, "an American non-profit organization engaged in international education, training and development activities." He was stabbed by a protester outside the headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood, which had been set on fire.
In a statement released through a Facebook tribute page, his family wrote about their son's life and death:
"Our beloved 21 year old son and brother Andrew Driscoll Pochter went to Alexandria for the summer, to teach English to 7 and 8 year old Egyptian children and to improve his Arabic. He was looking forward to returning to Kenyon College for his junior year and to spending his spring semester in Jordan. As we understand it, he was witnessing the protest as a bystander and was stabbed by a protester. He went to Egypt because he cared profoundly about the Middle East, and he planned to live and work there in the pursuit of peace and understanding."
Mr. Pochter, of Chevy Chase, Md., had been active in Kenyon's Hillel community, and had traveled to Morocco in 2011. While there, he wrote an article for Al Arabiya News about the potential for the then-nascent Arab Spring and the profound effect it would have on the region.
The United States embassy in Egypt issued a travel warning yesterday for all Americans "to defer non-essential travel to Egypt at this time due to the continuing possibility of political and social unrest." Two other people were killed in Friday's protest, which was part of a buildup towards massive nationwide rallies on Sunday aimed at unseating President Morsi.