Dr. Don Bradley, UCA professor of small business and entrepreneurship, says it will be a “cold day in Cairo” before he returns there.
He recounted his touch with history at the Wednesday meeting of the Conway Kiwanis Club.
In Cairo in January of 2011 at the invitation of the government to develop job-creating programs for its youth at the state universities in Egypt, Bradley was serving as president-elect of the International Council for Small Business.
His goal was to establish three small centers to aid existing and start-up businesses, similar to the one Bradley directs at UCA.
He told that the scene outside his hotel room erupted in rioting, and he was left to his own devices to get a flight out of country.
The Arab Spring, the youthful uprising against poverty and governmental corruption throughout the region was beginning.
He told the Kiwanians that he helped others find escape, including some American tourists who were abandoned by their tour company.
There were fires in the street, Bradley said, but the people protected the Cairo Museum and the ancient Coptic Christian Churches, one a site where Jesus visited.
Bradley hears from his colleagues in Cairo about once a month, encouraging him to come back.
While taken with the culture of the country and wanting to finish the work he started on developing a small business curriculum, Bradley says the region is still too unsettled for him.
“I don’t want to go back; it was too difficult to get out,” Bradley said.
(Staff writer Becky Harris can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and 505-1234.)