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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

January 31, 2003

Egypt program continues undisturbed

While American students are advised NOT to go the Middle East universities, the warning does not apply to Egypt. As enrollment increases rapidly there, many Americans will begin to view the ME from an Arab perspective, via a country where state controlled media has allowed the Protocols of Zion to be viewed on TV. What does that portend for the future perespective on the ME?
...The American University in Cairo has seen the number of both applications and enrollment rise considerably, almost doubling since last year, Davidson said.

"There is a lot of interest in the Middle East … (but) programs in a lot of other non−Western countries have been cancelled," Davidson said.

Moritz agreed that there is interest among Brown students to study in the Middle East, particularly in Israel. "There's interest in Israel and I talk to students about it, and it's very regrettable that the situation is still tricky there in terms of foreigners," she said.

She said she is heartened that Brown hired two new faculty members to teach Arabic this year, and hopes to send more students to the Middle East in the future.

"We have a good number of students taking Arabic, I understand. Arabic enrollments are up, and that's good, because obviously our country could use more information about the Middle East," she said.

Moritz said proposals for programs come in from various sites and institutions in the Middle East, "but whether we would want to do something now is the question.

"Nothing is on the table right now and probably wouldn't be this year, but were things to come down we probably would encourage more students," Moritz said. "I hope when things resolve themselves we can send more students to good places in the Middle East." ..."If war starts, my decision is to stay in Egypt," said John Gelzer, a junior. "I think there has been a lot of miscommunication between the Arab world and the U.S. There need to be more people who are informed about the Middle East instead of (those) making judgments without knowing anything about Arab culture," he said.