Local flees Egyptian crisis

A Slocan Valley woman has returned to Canada from Egypt amid political protests aimed at ousting president Hosni Mubarak.

Mekaila Frajman, 24, arrived in Edmonton this week after a long journey.

“She’s pretty bagged,” says her sister Kamala Davies, a local realtor. “I talked to her last night. She’s just happy to be home, and trying to get her bearings straight.”

Davies says Frajman was torn about leaving the country where she has taught for close to two years.

“I don’t think she wanted to go. She has a real passion for Egypt. She loves her job, enjoys the people she works with and her students. But it came to a point where all of us on this end were worried sick.”

During the protests, Frajman holed up in her apartment.

She taught biology, chemistry, and math at the British Columbia Canadian International School in the Cairo suburb of Maadi, where she was among 30 faculty from B.C.

She graduated from Mount Sentinel and the University of Alberta, where she took her teacher training. “She was looking for work as a new teacher, and was offered an opportunity that would give her the option to travel,” Davies says. “She jumped on it.”

Her friend and mentor, Peter Stoll, has been teaching at the same school since 2007.

Aside from flight delays, Frajman didn’t have any trouble leaving the country. Her family booked her ticket before foreign affairs announced it would help Canadians leave.

“We were concerned whether she would be able to make it to the airport, but she did and went on her scheduled flight home,” Davies says. “I don’t think she made a selfish decision [to leave]. She made it for her family.”

From Cairo, Frajman flew to Frankfurt, and was supposed to go to Toronto, but because of the large snowstorm, the flight was redirected to Calgary. She finally made it back to Edmonton on Wednesday afternoon.