Students, profs offer perspectives from study abroad trip to Egypt
June 25, 2012
Mike McMullen/Everette Penn
Nine University of Houston-Clear Lake students travelled abroad to explore “Egypt in Transition.” Pictured are the students and a travel guide, with their two professors, Associate Professor of Sociology Mike McMullen (seated, left) and Associate Professor of Criminology Everette Penn (kneeling, back row center), in front of Queen Hatshepsut’s Temple outside of Luxor in upper Egypt.
Nine University of Houston-Clear Lake students and two faculty members just returned from a short-term study-abroad trip to Egypt. After spending the spring semester studying Egyptian politics, social life, the status of women, and the aftermath of the January 25, 2011 Egyptian Revolution, the UH-Clear Lake group spent 12 days traveling throughout Egypt and exploring “Egypt in Transition.”
Associate Professor of Criminology Everette Penn and Associate Professor of Sociology Mike McMullen included several days in Cairo seeing Islamic and Christian sites, a day trip to Alexandria to view the ancient and modern libraries, and a boat trip along the Nile River between Luxor and Aswan, with stops in Edfu and Kom Ombo to see Pharaonic temples as well as a Nubian village. All agree, however, that the most exciting aspect of the trip was the many conversations they had with Egyptians from across the political spectrum to hear about their assessment of the Egyptian Revolution, recent Parliamentary elections, and the upcoming runoff between Mohammed Morsi and Ahmed Shafik.
“We spoke with a woman who was afraid that the Muslim Brotherhood candidate would restrict women’s rights, a young secular man who participated in the Revolution in Tahrir Square and saw young people killed by the police, and an high-ranking official in the Freedom and Justice party, the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood movement,” says McMullen.
“Egyptians remain hopeful about the long-term prospect of democracy in Egypt, but realistic about the continuing need to keep the Revolution going to make sure the military hands over power to an elected civilian leader,” adds Penn.
This is the fifth study abroad trip led by Penn and McMullen with students. Both have been awarded Fulbright Scholarships to teach in Egypt: Penn at Cairo University in 2005 and McMullen at American University in Cairo in 2009-2010. Students included Stacey Michelle Baldon, Juan Fernando Garcia, Kristin Stephanie Leary, Quintina Nicol Ming, Azizah Fumo-Abdalla Mohammed, Monica Rincon, Cindy Kay Christine Steffens, Evgenia D. Terekhova and Natalie Marie Walker.
Students will be presenting reflections on their trip as well as discussing their research projects July 2, 11:45 – 1 p.m., in UH-Clear Lake’s Garden Room, 2700 Bay Area Blvd., Houston. All are invited to these special presentations.
For more information about the “Egypt in Transition” program through the School of Human Sciences and Humanities, visit http://hsh.uhcl.edu
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University of Houston-Clear Lake offers more than 80 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, including a doctoral program, from its four schools, which include the School of Business, School of Education, School of Human Sciences and Humanities, and School of Science and Computer Engineering. For more information about the university, visit http://www.uhcl.edu.