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Drury Professor: We Will Feel the Effect of Events in Egypt

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Dr. Jeff VanDenBerg, a political science professor at Drury University, is teaching a class this semester about the Arab Spring uprising. He says the violence this week will most likely have major implications for our government.
Two colleagues have been here on state department grants to teach Arabic who are in Egypt now.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- The events in Egypt are being felt across the world, including here in the Ozarks.

Dr. Jeff VanDenBerg, a political science professor at Drury University, is teaching a class this semester about the Arab Spring uprising. He says the violence this week will most likely have major implications for our government.

"Anyone's first reaction is going to be sort of sorrow and sympathy for the people there."

The government used military action to break up a protest by ousted President Mohammed Morsi supporters. More than 600 people were killed and thousands were injured.

"This is something that was unnecessary and really an undemocratic response to political dispute in Egypt."

VanDenBerg believes this week's violence will be felt all the way to Washington, D.C. Egypt receives $1.3 billion in U.S. aid per year.

"It's going to be very hard for the administration to continue their relationship with Egypt, given the bloodshed that just happened."

And he thinks it will make waves even closer to home.

"It's a small world we live in now and even here in Springfield we have lots of connections to Egypt," says Dr. VanDenBerg. "Two colleagues have been here on state department grants to teach Arabic who are in Egypt now."

He hasn't heard from his colleagues since before Wednesday's violence.

"I'm concerned like all of us should be about what the situation there is."

But he has faith they are alright, and that this event will spark new conversation when students walk onto campus Friday for fall semester.

"There will be a lot of discussion on campuses all around Springfield and the Ozarks about what is going on, because it's a really important event for us, foreign policy, and for people here as well."

If President Obama declares the military takeover of the elected President Morsi an official coup, that will force the government to revoke that $1.3 billion in foreign aid to Egypt.
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