Protests began last week against the government of President Hosni Mubarak, demanding democratic reforms and the president’s resignation.
As of Monday, the official death toll from the situation was reported to be 97, with thousands injured, but reports from witnesses across the country indicated the actual death toll was far higher.
The protests have captured worldwide attention, due to the advent of mobile phones, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.
As the level of publicity increased, the Egyptian has government has turned off almost all Internet access and mobile phone service, causing a nationwide “blackout”.
Former Eunice Mayor Curtis Joubert said that as of Sunday, his daughter and grandchildren were trapped in Cairo and afraid for their lives, but could not get out.
Joubert’s son-in-law, Cairo native Taha Khalifa, was in the United States for a conference, and has not been able to return to his family since violence broke out in his home country last week.
“As of yesterday, he was heading to England, but he can’t get to Egypt,” Joubert said.
Khalifa is the Country Manager for Intel Corporation Egypt.
Joubert said that despite communications being cut off, his daughter managed to call early Sunday morning.
“She was in tears; she was a nervous wreck. She said she wants to come home, but she can’t go outside, she’s in fear for her life, and for her two kids’ lives,” Joubert said.
Joubert said his daughter and grandchildren were staying locked in their apartment building.
Joubert has had no further contact with his daughter, but has been speaking to Louisiana’s congressional delegation to see what can be done to get his family out of the country.
Joubert said that his daughter reported Sunday that Eunice native Sheila Marcantel Ivory and her family were being evacuated.
It is unclear where they were being evacuated to, Joubert said.
Ivory’s godmother Elaine Guillory said that Ivory and her family were safe and sound, according to her last communication Saturday morning.
Communication into and out of Egypt has been difficult, but Guillory said Ivory’s mother-in-law, Jean Ivory of Maine, received a brief call Saturday.
“She said they’re still in Egypt. They’re okay, but that’s all she heard. And she said not to worry,” Guillory said.
Ivory is a 1990 graduate of Eunice High School.
Ivory’s husband, Jeff Ivory, is employed by Transocean as a Division Manager of Human Resources in Cairo.
The couple has three children, Vivian, Gabriel and Chase. The family lives in Maadi, a suburb of Cairo composed primarily of foreign nationals.
The Ivorys stayed with Guillory when she hosted the family during a visit to Eunice in June 2009.
Guillory said the family was currently staying in an executive compound owned by Halliburton and Transocean.
Jeff Duplechin reported that Eunice natives Zeke and Beth Brown left Egypt Sunday and at last word, were onroute to Copenhagen, Denmark.
The couple has resided in Maadi for four years, where Zeke Brown does consulting work.
The State Department announced Monday that more than 2,400 Americans have contacted U.S. officials seeking government-chartered evacuation flights from Egypt. It says more than 220 have already left on the special flights and more are scheduled.
The department said it expects to evacuate about 900 U.S. citizens from Egypt on Monday and another 1,000 on Tuesday; the majority of U.S. citizens wanting to leave are in Cairo but others are in the cities of Alexandria, Luxor and Aswan.