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Keyrollos Ibrahim had a front seat for history.
Ibrahim is a MiraCosta College graduate who left the Oceanside Campus to enroll at American University in Cairo last Aug. 24. While in Egypt, Ibrahim not only studied political science, but also joined hundreds of thousands of protesters converging on Tahrir Square, protests that ended with the military overthrowing President Mohamed Morsi.
Ibrahim called Morsi’s presidency “a massive failure.” The Muslim Brotherhood leader in November of 2012 unilaterally gave himself unlimited powers to “protect” the nation and to legislate without judicial review. Morsi, the first Egyptian president who was democratically elected to assume the presidency, was becoming no better than the leaders of past regimes.
“He gave himself sweeping powers, powers that no dictator in Egypt had ever given himself before,” Ibrahim said. “The new constitution was unrepresentative of the Egyptian people. The army was standing up for the people of Egypt.”
Ibrahim returned to Oceanside in June. He’s working in a restaurant as he applies to University of California campuses for the few remaining classes needed to earn his bachelor’s degree. From there he plans to go to law school and practice international law focusing on Third World issues.
MiraCosta College, Ibrahim said, prepared him well for his future. He was politically active while at the Oceanside Campus and served as president of MiraCosta College’s Rotaract Club, a Rotary-sponsored service organization for youth. The Carlsbad High School graduate has been a member in good standing at the Carlsbad, and regularly travelled to Mexico with the organization under its Smiles of Tecate program that aids children born with a cleft deformity. Before heading off to Egypt, Ibrahim volunteered as a speech and debate coach at Aviara Oaks Middle School.
Ibrahim, born in Australia, is of Egyptian descent.
“I made the decision that I have to go back, I have to learn more about what is going on with the revolution in Egypt…It was a culture shock.”
A Coptic Christian, Ibrahim said he felt marginalized in the Muslim country. But numerous disparate groups, he said, came together in protesting the Morsi regime. “It was an amazing experience,” he said, adding that he is more hopeful than ever that Egypt will develop into a democrat state where all factions can live in peace.