An Egyptian student holds a flare during a march from Cairo University to parliament headquarters (REUTERS/File picture)
DOHA: One group of Qataris which is persistently praying that calm returns to Egypt consists of students who were enrolled in various colleges and universities in the country.
Nearly all of them are back home after the crisis in Egypt began unfolding early last July, and feel immensely frustrated as they see little hope of the crisis coming to an end and the education institutions reopening.
There are several hundred young Qataris who were pursuing different educational courses in various parts of Egypt, including the capital city of Cairo.
Many of them had taken fresh admission and invariably all of them had paid tuition fees for six months to a year in advance.
Several of them were in the final year of their degree or certificate courses, and are now looking for alternatives, according to a debate on the issue raging on local social networking sites.
“We are left in the lurch and don’t know what to do except pray that the crisis in Egypt ends and our colleges and universities reopen,” said a Qatari student in a comment posted on a social networking site.
This and similar comments from suffering students have triggered a discussion and the networking sites have turned into a platform for exchange of opinions among the students over what options they have if the crisis continues. “We don’t know if we seek admission elsewhere the number of years we have studied in Egypt would be taken into account by those colleges and universities,” said a commentator. “If not, those years would be wasted.”
Others said they had deposited tuition and other fees for six months to a year in advance, adding that they didn’t see much hope of educational institutions reopening in the near future.
“Forget that our money is lost. We are now praying that we don’t lose the valuable years of our academic pursuit,” rued a commentator. There are discussions about what options they have if the Egyptian situation doesn’t improve and educational institutions there remain shut.
“Jordan, Morocco and India are suitable alternatives to continue education,” suggested a commentator. But another said the most stable place on earth was Europe so “we must go there to continue our education”.
To recall, Qatar’s Foreign Ministry transported back home to safety some 209 Qataris, many of them students, who were stranded in Egypt early last month when the crisis began unfolding. The Qatari embassy in Cairo set up a 24-hour control room to help Qataris stranded in the country and on the very first day it received some 380 calls, media reports earlier suggested.