Derrik Sweeney tried to stay optimistic in darkest hour in Egypt
Monday, November 28, 2011
Derrik Sweeney went to Egypt with the intent to study the country, its culture and its language. And one week ago, for seven long hours, he contemplated dying in this fascinating country in which he had immersed himself.
A lanky young man with a large, boyish smile, Sweeney recounted his journey to various media outlets after arriving home on Sunday.
At the fateful protest, he and two other Americans were separated from their Egyptian friends after the military started firing — possibly rubber bullets — into the crowd of demonstrators. He said he was simply standing with two American friends when they were approached by four or five men in plain clothes who offered to help them find safety.
Next thing they knew, they were being punched and forced on the ground at gunpoint. They were threatened that if they moved an inch, they would be shot. Fortunately, Sweeney and the other two protesters were later transferred to official members of the government, who treated them civilly.