|Egypt trip removed from HUG program|
|Written by Jordan Honeycutt | The Bison|
|Monday, 23 April 2012 20:50|
Students at Harding University in Greece will visit Turkey instead of Egypt this semester because of continuing political turmoil in the country according to Dr. Jeffrey Hopper, dean of international programs.
The decision was made on Jan. 16, just two days before the students arrived in Greece.
Junior Corey Stumne, who is currently studying at HUG, said that he was initially disappointed by the news that he would be unable to visit Egypt.
“It wasn’t just the pyramids I was excited about,” Stumne said. “I just really wanted to say I went to Africa, and I wanted to see the Nile River and Red Sea. But I have been praying for safety and peace wherever we might go, so I am glad God answered my prayers by redirecting us away from somewhere he was concerned about us going.”
With the newly elected parliament in Egypt being powered by a religious group called the Muslim Brotherhood, Hopper said that depending on which way the government goes, there could be serious consequences for visitors.
Dr. Mike James, director of Harding University in Greece, said that decision to cancel the trip was not an easy one to make.
“It's always a tough decision when we have to cancel a trip,” James said. “However, when the safety of our students is concerned, we are very protective.”
James said that it is no surprise that Turkey was chosen as the alternative. The HUG Spring 2011 group visited Turkey when James was forced to cancel the Egypt trip because of turmoil surrounding the overthrow of Mubarek.
According to James, the students visited the seven churches of Asia, along with the Muslim world influence of Istanbul. James said most of the students were extremely glad that Turkey was the selected destination.
Junior Ethan Adkisson, who attended HUG last spring, said he had no idea what to expect before arriving in Turkey.
“Istanbul was unlike anything I could have imagined,” Adkisson said. “Everywhere I looked I found something that was completely unique and shaped my experience there. It is such a diverse country in both culture and landscape that you can’t help but be intrigued by it.”
Stumne said that despite his disappointment over not going to Egypt, he is still looking forward to learning from Turkey’s diverse religious background.
“I am really looking forward to experiencing the Muslim faith,” Stumne said. “I don’t know much about it and I am excited to learn. I want to see how they worship and pray and go about their faith. By doing this, I hope I obtain a more broader view of faith in general.”