As our nation celebrated its 237th birthday with fireworks, barbeques, parades, retail sales and even a few Declaration of Independence readings, I followed the news in Egypt. This country, with its history extending thousands of years, is still struggling to secure a government.
Andrew Pochter was stabbed to death June 28 while observing the anti-government protests in Alexandria, Egypt. A rising junior at Kenyon College, Pochter, a religious studies major, was interning for the summer, teaching English to 7- and 8- year olds and improving his Arabic. He had planned to study abroad next spring in Jordan.
The perpetrator disappeared in the crowd.
The news about Egypt continues. The story about Andrew disappeared after one day.
As a mother and grandmother, I thought about Andrew. I couldn’t imagine the phone call his parents received with the news of their son’s untimely death. I can imagine what they’re now going through. Young death is tragic; these circumstances beyond explanation.
Andrew, who had previously studied in Morocco, was pursuing his passion, committed to learning about the Middle East. His parents wrote in a released statement: “He had studied in the region, loved the culture, and planned to live and work there in the pursuit of peace and understanding.”
I remember when my sons studied in Israel. Having never been there, I nervously put them on airplanes and worried.
I played with my grandkids and wondered. Where will they be when they’re 21? I can’t put them in a bubble; I can’t protect them from the world.