A South Glengarry university student is looking to the fall and wondering if she will continue her studies in the Middle East.
Lenda Mettry is a 21-year-old Egyptian, who has lived in Canada for nearly seven years after her family left the Middle East to avoid political and religious persecution.
The family operates a pizza restaurant in Lancaster.
The last year in Egypt was the most trying. Mettry lives with her grandmother just a 10-minute walk from Tahrir Square in Cairo where protests have spawned massive democratic reforms.
But, political corruption remains a constant, said Mettry, and with the recent announcement that Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood has been confirmed as president following controversial elections, Mettry is left wondering if a return to her homeland is worth it.
“I guess I will have to wait and see,” she said in an interview. “There is so much corruption going on right now.”
Mettery’s family is Christian, and part of the reason they made the move to Canada was to avoid any conflicts with Muslim extremists and others who would look persecute them for their religious beliefs.
Despite what appears to be cautious optimism shown by world leaders for the first democratic election in Egypt’s history, Mettry, who participated in protests in Tahrir Square, is fearful for her homeland’s future.
“There could be a civil war between Christians and Muslims,” she said, adding despite the fact that international news organizations focused on the violence in some parts of Egypt, she felt relatively safe during demonstrations. “(Protesters) would pass right in front of us and go to the square. So we would see them every day…they are just asking for their rights.
“For sure there was some violence..but it was in smaller villages. We weren’t in danger in Cairo.”
And Mettry, in the rhird year of a five-year pharmacy program at the University of Cairo, had some tough words for former Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak, who was still clinging to life after suffering an apparent stroke. The stroke came shortly after he had been sentenced to life in an Egyptian prison for crimes against his people.
“Some people will be happy (when he dies),” said Mettry. “I would rather that he stayed in prison for 25 years.”
Even though the election in Egypt has been certified, hundreds of Egyptian anti-military activists continue to gather in Tahrir Square to protest constitutional amendments, in which the military granted itself greater powers at the expense of those of the new president’s.
The protesters said they will remain put until power is handed over to President-elect Morsi.