"College is such a joke," 21-year-old Indiana University student Luke Gates wrote on Twitter on Monday. Less of a joke: Egyptian jail, where Gates and two other American college kids are after being arrested for allegedly throwing firebombs on police during yesterday's protests.
Really, what better way to spend your semester abroad than participating in pro-democracy demonstrations against a violent, autocratic military rule? Gates, 19-year-old Drexel student Gregory Porter, and 20-year-old Derrick Sweeney of Georgetown—all of whom are studying Arabic at the American University in Cairo—were arrested together on Monday and, accompanied by a U.S. embassy official, questioned by a prosecutor. It seems as though no official charges have been brought forward yet; a friend from AUC, interviewed by AP, calls the incident "a big misunderstanding."
Not a total misunderstanding, though: judging by Gates' Twitter, he'd been spending a lot of time at the protests. (sample Tweet: "we were throwing rocks and one guy accidentally threw his phone =(" Our Orwell, folks!) Sweeney's mother Joy says her son "got caught up in the whole college-change-the-world mentality, and he believes in democracy strongly." He must, if he's willing to risk his life to speak up for it. Good for him.