GREAT NECK, NY (CBS 2/WCBS 880) — After living through days of riots and gunfire in the streets of Cairo, Alexandra Woodhouse can hardly believe she’s back home on Long Island.

“The place that I left was not the place that I came to,” she said. “I really wasn’t able to sleep and all I kept thinking was how great it’s going to be to see my family and how great it’s going to be to hug my dad and my mom.”

WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs reports

Alexandra had been in Egypt since September, working as an intern with the U.N., and when protesters first took to Tahrir Square 10 days ago, she felt grateful to have a front row seat to history.

However, the violence then took hold. Riots broke out, armed guards were everywhere and Alexandra, stranded with no ID, no passport, no way to reach the U.N., and no way to reach her family, who were worried sick about their daughter.

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“I was like ‘Oh my God, what are we going to do’?” recounted Colin Woodhouse, Alexandra’s father.

“I thought ‘Oh my God, my baby, I sent her, I encouraged her, and she fell in love with this country and now she’s stuck there without food and water’,” said Alexandra’s mother Latifa Woodhouse.

Cell phone pictures revealed what Alexandra said she wouldn’t even tell her parents about in the brief and choppy phone conversations they had: busted water pipes turned weapons and teenagers armed with machine guns in the streets outside her hotel room.

“You could smell tear gas outside of our window,” Woodhouse told WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs. “It was just a very difficult time to see the place that I loved so much.”

“My 19-year-old friend holding a rifle in his hand, has never seen one of those before,” Alexandra said.

The 21-year-old student feared for her life, but with the help of family, was able to make it to the airport for a flight home Wednesday to her parents in Great Neck.  She was both sad to leave the embattled country she has come to love and relieved beyond belief to be home.

“I knew I was OK at times but I just knew my family was suffering,” she said.

Despite the chaotic end to her trip, Alexandra said she wants to return to Egypt as soon as possible.

“It really is a special place. I want nothing more than to go back and I don’t know when that’s going to happen,” she said.

WCBS 880 Reporter Peter Haskell spoke with NYU graduate Laura Bohn who is studying at the American University in Cairo who described her situation just outside her doors.

WCBS 880 Reporter Peter Haskell with NYU graduate Laura Bohn who is studying in Cairo about her situation.

Comments (13)
  1. Ellen says:

    I’m so happy that she’s home safe and sound with family and friends who love her and care for her. Yes, Alexandra things like this happen. It happen many decades ago when people who lived in Germany never ever realized that this country would have gone the way of the Hitler and the Nazis. Many Jews back then never thought their lives would be in danger living in what was then thought of as the Country of poets and artists. Yes, it can happen any where and at any time. Glad your home.

  2. Just axin' says:

    Did she have to dodge sniper fire like our brave Hillary did in Bosnia?

  3. shida says:

    Proud of them too.. Egypt is a very nice historical country with the very nice humble people.. only the people with the humanity and care for each other.. can feel like you..Alexandra.. May God bless you and the innocent people of Egypt who fight for their nation rights..

  4. Mr. Armena says:

    who cares???

    why does this person have to be a media hound?

    There are many other people in Egypt from the USa that are still there.

    1. peace says:

      Being an employee of the UN at 21 years old this girl obviously has devoted her young life to the well being of others. I don’t think she’s being a media hound – i think she’s sharing her story. this isn’t a competition on who suffers more. she went through something traumatic and has the right to reflect on it.

  5. Egypt says:

    I don’t think the people of Egypt are standing but instead progressing and taking action as a true nation….

  6. Raffael De Luca says:

    Glad your safe and for the work you have done and continue to do in Egypt and all over the world.

  7. BKLYN says:

    u should of stood there with the rest of them…

  8. Micha says:

    I’m sorry, but why is this news? Who really cares besides this girls family and friends?

    1. KPMc says:

      Well… you took the time to click the link, read the article and leave a comment… so… YOU!

  9. Nick says:

    If you’re so darn “proud”, why didn’t you stay and help out? YACK YACK YACK.

    1. Sue says:

      Maybe because it’s not her country ans it’s not her fight. Don’t be so quick to judge about what you don’t know….or are you in Cairo? I am. I’m glad you made it home safely.

      1. Nick Sucks says:

        You go sue.

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