WASHINGTON - The family of an American college student killed in Egypt during violent protests says their son cared passionately about the Middle East and was in the country to teach English to children and to improve his own Arabic.
Andrew Pochter, of Chevy Chase, Md., was killed Friday in Alexandria during clashes between government supporters and opponents. His family said in a statement Saturday that he was stabbed by a protester while observing the demonstrations.
"He went to Egypt because he cared profoundly about the Middle East. He had studied in the region, loved the culture, and planned to live and work there in the pursuit of peace and understanding," the statement said.
The country has been roiled by ongoing demonstrations between protesters trying to oust President Mohammed Morsi and Islamists seeking to keep him in power. The U.S. State Department has warned Americans against all but essential travel, and households have been stocking up on goods in case the protests drag on.
The 21-year-old spent his spring semester studying in Amman, Jordan, as part of the AMIDEAST Education Abroad Program and was teaching in Egypt before returning in the fall to Kenyon College in Ohio.