Catholic Spirit staffer in Egypt is eyewitness to historic demonstrations

| January 31, 2011 | 0 Comments

UPDATE: 2-2-11

Please visit this blog post for updated information regarding the Wolszon family.


Family in Minnesota worries about safety, but remains hopeful

Rather than exploring the history of Egypt, John Wolszon, production supervisor at The Catholic Spirit newspaper in St. Paul, and his wife, Mary Jo, members of St. Mary in Stillwater, have been thrust into the midst of history-making events.

The couple left Jan. 20 for a month-long trip-of-a-lifetime to see and experience some of the world’s greatest treasures and to visit their daughter and son-in-law, Angela and Enal Hus­sein, and their three grandchildren, Maleka, 9, Daliah, 5, and Tamer, 2. Enal is an Egyptian native, and he, Angela and the children are currently living there.

At home in Stillwater, daughter Michelle Nelson said Jan. 31 that she and her brother, Brad Wolszon, “spent a tough weekend [Jan. 28-30] waiting to hear from them.”

Late Jan. 31, Nelson finally talked to her parents and then put this post on Facebook: “The family in Egypt is OK! They are being well protected and have plenty of food, etc. They are not in any fear. If the situation progresses they will consider leaving, but for now they are choosing to stay. They say the media is blowing it way out of proportion. Thank you for all your prayers!!!!”

In a phone interview Feb. 1, Nelson said the cell phone call with her parents was cut off, just as the Internet was reporting another shut down of Internet and cell phone service in Egypt.

Earlier Jan. 31, Nelson said that she had not talked with her parents since Jan. 27, when Egyptians began protesting the leadership of Presi­dent Hosni Mubarak.

“The day it started, they were right where the demonstration was,” she said. “It was a peaceful demonstration when they were there.”

Nelson said that her parents told her late Jan. 31 that they contacted the U.S. Embassy and have a “plan in place,” if they have to leave Egypt earlier than their scheduled Feb. 16 departure. “Dad said he’s not leaving until he sees the pyramids,” Nelson said.

Now that her earlier concerns have been allayed, Nelson said she is OK with their decision.

“The people over there are good people. I think it’s a great thing that they are fighting for,” she said.

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