|Howard Community College student Sarah Blake was in Egypt when that nation's turbulent demonstrations began, and she and her friends found themselves being pushed and shoved in Cairo's streets.
"It was really scary. That's when the tear gas started coming out more and the water cannon trucks were going through. The police cars would come through, and crowds of people would just scramble," said Blake, who returned from the violence-torn nation last week after a one-month stay.
Blake is among several area residents who have come home from the country with harrowing stories that mirror the images depicted on news broadcasts. Protesters began staging demonstrations, marches and acts of civil disobedience Jan. 25, citing corruption and turmoil within the government and demanding that longtime president Hosni Mubarak resign.
An HCC Rouse honors student, Blake, 19, is set to graduate this spring with an associate's degree in international studies. She has been to 11 countries and was visiting Cairo on a personal trip, studying Arabic. She stayed with friends, including some Egyptians, in a youth hostel.