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Chevy Chase Native Dead in Egypt


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Published on: Wednesday, July 03, 2013

By Donna Broadway

CHEVY CHASE-Andrew Pochter, 21, a student at Kenyon College in Ohio and native of Chevy Chase, died on June 28 in Alexandria, Egypt after being stabbed in the chest during a protest. Pochter was in Egypt teaching English to seven and eight –year- old children.

“Andrew’s death is a very sad and tragic loss. He was an important part of the lives of many faculty and students, and he had a tremendous impact on the Kenyon Community. His work and activities this summer-teaching English to Egyptian youth while deepening his own understanding of the Arabic language and Egyptian culture-are emblematic of the engagement with learning and the world to which we all aspire,” said Sean Deacatur, president of Kenyon College.

 Pochter was interning with AMIDEAST, an American non-profit organization that runs education and development programs in the Middle East and North America.

He was a bystander to anti-government protesters stormed an office of the ruling Muslim Brotherhood.

Egyptian officials said he was carrying a small camera.

"As we understand it, he was witnessing a protest as a bystander and was stabbed by a protester," said the Pochter family in a statement released on June 29.

The Muslim Brotherhood said eight of its offices had been attacked on Friday during the protest, including the one in Alexandria. Officials said more than 70 people had been injured in the clashes in the city, adding to growing tension ahead of mass rallies on Sunday aimed at unseating President Mohamed Mursi.

Pochter was a rising junior with a major in religious studies and a member of the Middle Eastern Students Association (MESA) and Alpha Delta Phi fraternity. Pochter, who graduated from the Blue Ridge School in St. George, Va., spent a gap yea in Morrocco as part of the National Security Language Inititaive for Youth Scholarship, which is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. Pochter planned to spend the spring 2014 semester in Amman, Jordan also as part of the AMIDEAST program.

In addition to learning Arabic dialects, Pochter also spoke French, Spanish, and Italian.

“He was really fun-loving and sweet, a great friend. He was very attentive to his friends and to his family. And he had so many passionate interests. Andrew was a great cook and loved spending time in the kitchen, cooking with others,” said Pochter’s mother, Elizabeth.

Andrew is survived by his parents, Elizabeth and Theodore Pochter, and sister, Emily Pochter. Harry P. Toutain, Dean of Students at Kenyon College, said the college will hold a memorial service for Pochter in the fall.

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