Saturday, February 07, 2009

Sad news

Not to worry our parents, or anything, but we thought we'd help spread the word that one of Andrew's fellow grad students, who happens to share an office with Andrew, was abducted last night by the Egyptian police.

Don't worry. We're fine.

Philip Rizk is probably less than fine, though. His whereabouts is still officially unknown, although a few inside sources say that he was taken to Lazoughly, which is infamously known for torture. Apparently his abduction had to do with his activism regarding Palestine, more specifically Gaza. Any Google search turns up numerous articles he wrote while living in Gaza as an independent journalist. More recently he had been trying to help get medical supplies into the war-torn areas of Gaza where hospitals are still overcrowded and people are still dying.

AUC and the German embassy are doing all they can to locate and release Philip, though that will be tough since he's technically an Egyptian citizen so it's not like the Germany embassy can just demand him back.

Hopefully he'll be released soon, though, and in good physical condition.

We aren't planning on getting incarcerated any time soon. We're a lot less passive about our politics than Philip. We're not really all that in to attending demonstrations and/or sneaking contraband (even if it is needed contraband) across international borders. So there's really no need to worry about us.

I have to admire his bravery, though. People are suffering and he's actually trying to do something about it instead of sitting around and talking about it while innocent people are dying.

It's funny. This is the second person I'm "connected" to that has been negatively impacted by the Palestinian/Israeli crisis. The other is a friend of my Aunt Marie's. Suleiman Baraka attended the Astrophysics Institute of Paris with JC, Marie's son. They were both PhD candidates and got to be good friends. Currently Suleiman is in the States working for NASA. He left his family in Gaza and was working on getting visas for them to join him in the States. Unfortunately his house was bombed on December 29th, 2008, leaving his wife, two sons, and a daughter homeless. Another son Ibrahim, only 11 years old, died from injuries resulting from the blast. You can read his account here.


  1. Ditto what your mom said. Wow.

  2. safe! I love you guys! Oh and I have been reading all of your blog posts (and Abbi's, and Kelli's)I just haven't been commenting, because, well, lets face it, i'm a lazy moose. Anyway, be safe and i love you!

  3. This is so crazy. I wish for his safe return. Please be safe. Your family is too wonderful to have anything happen to you. It is an amazing person to actually take action on what you believe. A rare attribute.

  4. Oh no! I'll keep him in my prayers.. that's so horrible what's going on in Gaza and that people are suffering so much for trying to show the world the real story!

  5. He will be in our prayers, as well as you and your family. Be safe! I love you so much!