Saturday, February 5, 2011

Hot News : UAE Welcome Alexandria Students With Open Arms

DUBAI: Seven Malaysian students arrived here Thursday night from Alexandria, one of the Egyptian cities hit by street demonstrations against President Hosni Mubarak's 30-year rule.

They were visibly surprised but happy nonetheless, to see a group of Malaysian residents in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), led by Malaysians in the UAE Association (My-UAE) president Rusli Leman, waiting to receive them at Dubai's Terminal 2 Airport.

Izza Nadzmi Othman, a first-year medical student at Alexandria University, said they had been prepared to spend the night at the airport while waiting for their Malaysia Airlines' flight to Kuala Lumpur Friday.

"We were really surprised. We didn't expect to see our fellow Malaysians waiting for us at the airport. We just want to say, 'thank you'," she told Bernama later at the house of one of the Malaysian families here which had opened their doors to the students.

Izza Nadzmi was joined on the flight from Alexandria by Syazwani Zulkafli, from Pasir Gudang; Amirah Zainab Mamat, from Skudai; Normaidayu Mohd Zainal, from Sungkai; Ikrimah Idris, from Ipoh; Mohamad Zakwan Helmi Abu Bakar, from Pendang; and Khalil Husairi Hamzah, from USJ Subang.

The young ladies remembered barricading their rented houses and sleeping with knives to protect themselves as chaos descended upon Alexandria amid rumours that prisoners who had been set free were lurking in the streets.

Khalil Husairi recalled the security breakdown as Arab residents took it upon themselves to guard homes and buildings with swords, rifles and other weapons.

Others also spoke of communication problems as the internet and telephone lines went dead.

Although they were relieved to have made it to Dubai, their thoughts were with their friends and other Malaysians who were still stuck in strife-torn Egypt.

"We pray that they'll be able to get out of Egypt soon," said Amirah Zainab.

Meanwhile, Zaida Khamis and fellow Malaysian, Misbah Mukhtar, said they were happy to welcome the female students into their homes.

"They're like our sisters. Our house is open to other Malaysians from Egypt who may find themselves stranded in Dubai," said Zaida.

Her sentiment was echoed by Misbah and finance and human resource executive Zahrul Ikram Zallin, who had offered to take in the male students for the night. -- BERNAMA

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