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U.S. student killed in Egypt 'cared profoundly about the Middle East'

June 30, 2013 at 9:38 AM

ALEXANDRIA, Egypt, June 30 (UPI) -- A 21-year-old American student killed during protests in Egypt was in the country because he "cared profoundly about the Middle East," his family said.

Andrew Pochter, of Chevy Chase, Md., was fatally stabbed during a protest in Alexandria on Friday. He was in Egypt teaching English to elementary school children, CNN reported.

"As we understand it, he was witnessing the protest as a bystander and was stabbed by a protester," his family said in a statement. "He went to Egypt because he cared profoundly about the Middle East, and he planned to live and work there in the pursuit of peace and understanding."

Pochter, a religious studies major at Kenyon College, traveled to Egypt earlier this year after spending some time in Morocco.

"He was one of the rare kids who lived what he believed," said Marc Bragin, a chaplain at Kenyon. "His belief was that everyone should be included, everyone had a voice, and no one should be left out because what they think is different than what others think."

After leaving Egypt, Pochter, who would have entered his junior year this fall, planned on going to Amman, Jordan.

"In an essay as part of his application for the study-abroad program in Jordan, Andrew ... reflected on his hopes to develop 'life-long ties ... with Arab-speaking friends,'" Kenyon College said in a statement.

Kenyon College said it was planning a memorial service in the fall.

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