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Maryland Student Talks About Egypt Experience

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Sarah Blake
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WJZ general assignment reporter Mike Hellgren came to Maryland's News...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Students from Johns Hopkins, the University of Maryland and several other schools are back home in the wake of the unrest in Egypt.

Mike Hellgren talked to a 19-year-old who just got back and says she understands the frustration of the people there.

As chaos engulfs Egypt, dozens of students from schools across Maryland who were studying there, have now been evacuated and returned home.

Sarah Blake from Howard County Community College got back Tuesday night and brought some souvenirs–shell casings from rubber bullets police were firing at protesters.

“At first, people were very positive,” she said. “They were excited they actually could get this change they were waiting on, but then soon people started getting angrier and angrier and angrier, and you could understand with 30 years of anger pent up.” 

She stayed in the country so long because she wanted to see history; she got a front row seat to a revolution.

“I didn’t have time to think, ‘Shoot, I’m in danger.’ It would just be we would see people running toward us, and we would just turn around and sprint as fast as we could,” Blake said.

Blake took cell phone video of the protests.

“We would just look behind, and there would be police behind us, and there would be water cannons in front of us, and tear gas one way,” said Blake.  “There must have been six people on our street and it was just us.  We’re obviously not Egyptian and not trying to cause trouble, but police picked up rocks off the ground and started throwing them at us for no reason.

Blake had been in the country for about a month–studying Arabic–when the unrest started.

“I think I was more excited. More lit on adrenaline than frightened,” she said.

Blake wants to go back, hungry to learn more. For now, she’s settling back in to life at school in Howard County.

“I’m definitely glad to be home,” she said.

Right now, the main airport in Cairo is under curfew.  Both protesters and the military are setting up random roadblocks and checkpoints, so it’s a very fluid situation for those who want to get out.  

The State Department has evacuated at least 1,600 of the estimated 50,000 Americans in Egypt. Others were able to get commercial flights home.

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