One Year after Egyptian Imprisonment, Youth out of Limelight

5 years 4 weeks 16 hours ago Wednesday, December 19 2012 Dec 19, 2012 Wednesday, December 19, 2012 4:54:00 PM CST December 19, 2012 in News
By: Krystal Scott
loading

JEFFERSON CITY - One year after being imprisoned in Egypt, Jefferson City resident Derrick Sweeney's life has pretty much returned to normal. The student is enrolled in his final semester at Georgetown University, studying Arabic. Although the classes Sweeney took at American University in Cairo didn't count toward his graduation, Sweeney is ready to get his diploma.

Kevin Sweeney, Derrick's father, said, "Derrick definitely learned about the culture, all of it, including the guns and punishment."

A year has passed since Sweeney and two other American students were imprisoned in Egypt under allegations of throwing Molotov cocktails into a crowd. The teens were eventually freed and sent back to the states to finish their schooling.

In an interview with KOMU 8 News, Sweeney said the experience hasn't really changed his outlook much. He said, "Seeing the bare bones of what government [is] when it tries to control people, what it is. It's men with guns. So that's led me really strongly to oppose more government control through socialism or fascism. I'm really strongly opposed to seeing government grow."

Sweeney said he doesn't have nightmares about the situation, but said the most frightening part was "being taken and beaten."

Sweeney's fluency in Arabic helped him interpret what the Egyptians were saying and helped him to follow directions better.

For Sweeney's full interview check out the video below.

 

While Sweeney was in captivity, no matter how much worrying either parent endured, both said they never strayed from their faith. Mother Joy Sweeney said, "You know everybody was like how could you stay home. I said that was one of the hardest decisions that we had to make. That was one of the hardest things to do. To stay here when you know he needed our help."

Joy Sweeney added, "He's always been a kind of take it in stride kind of person, but I'll never forget when I called and he (Derrick) actually talked to me for the first time, how he said now that I'm talking to you I know everything is going to be okay."

Father Kevin Sweeney, who had returned from a business trip only a few days before his son's imprisonment, recalled, "If I would have gotten the call while I was in Korea I would have been on a plane right there. However the embassy told us we wouldn't do any good there."

Kevin Sweeney admitted the biggest help to his family was the lawyer in Egypt who agreed to work pro bono to help release Derrick Sweeney and another student who was taken into custody. Kevin Sweeney said, "They wouldn't have had representation otherwise."

The family hasn't been in contact with that lawyer, but said they were thankful for all of the help, advice, and prayers while Derrick was trying to come home.

Between the bustle to get Derrick back home safely, the Sweeney family didn't have a traditional Thanksgiving last year. However, the family was able to make up for it this year, as all of the Sweeney family was able to connect in California on Thanksgiving to give thanks that their family is safe and all in America.

Despite the difficulties in 2011, Kevin and Joy Sweeney have not limited their children from traveling outside of the country. Joy Sweeney said her youngest daughter wants to travel abroad.

Even Derrick said he is planning to travel abroad again. He said, "I will definitely go abroad--maybe not Egypt quite yet--but yeah, I will definitely go."

More News

Grid
List
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The Missouri House has passed legislation to require some businesses to hang posters advertising the... More >>
1 hour ago Wednesday, January 17 2018 Jan 17, 2018 Wednesday, January 17, 2018 1:09:00 PM CST January 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Officials with Jefferson City Public Schools announced the groundbreaking ceremony for the city's second high school, which... More >>
1 hour ago Wednesday, January 17 2018 Jan 17, 2018 Wednesday, January 17, 2018 12:59:00 PM CST January 17, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri House lawmakers have approved a ban on most lobbyist gifts to themselves and other... More >>
1 hour ago Wednesday, January 17 2018 Jan 17, 2018 Wednesday, January 17, 2018 12:20:14 PM CST January 17, 2018 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A Missouri lawmaker is pushing a bill that would require college students to pass a citizenship test... More >>
2 hours ago Wednesday, January 17 2018 Jan 17, 2018 Wednesday, January 17, 2018 11:18:00 AM CST January 17, 2018 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A southwest Missouri teacher has been charged with having sexual contact with a student. The Springfield... More >>
3 hours ago Wednesday, January 17 2018 Jan 17, 2018 Wednesday, January 17, 2018 10:34:26 AM CST January 17, 2018 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — One man is in custody and three police vehicles are damaged after a pursuit ended... More >>
4 hours ago Wednesday, January 17 2018 Jan 17, 2018 Wednesday, January 17, 2018 9:57:17 AM CST January 17, 2018 in Continuous News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — Authorities say a 6-year-old has accidentally shot and wounded his 7-year-old sister while playing with a gun... More >>
4 hours ago Wednesday, January 17 2018 Jan 17, 2018 Wednesday, January 17, 2018 9:35:49 AM CST January 17, 2018 in News
GRANDVIEW (AP) — A suburban Kansas City man has been charged in the death of a 27-year-old woman whose... More >>
4 hours ago Wednesday, January 17 2018 Jan 17, 2018 Wednesday, January 17, 2018 9:29:10 AM CST January 17, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – There may be a new way to get to MU's campus, without driving. The Columbia City Council... More >>
6 hours ago Wednesday, January 17 2018 Jan 17, 2018 Wednesday, January 17, 2018 7:28:00 AM CST January 17, 2018 in News
HOLTS SUMMIT - A city administrator says he doesn't want Holts Summit to be a "trashy" town. Rick Hess... More >>
18 hours ago Tuesday, January 16 2018 Jan 16, 2018 Tuesday, January 16, 2018 7:43:00 PM CST January 16, 2018 in News
OSAGE BEACH - Mid-Missouri hospitals are facing shortages of IV bags as doctors scramble against a particularly difficult flu season.... More >>
19 hours ago Tuesday, January 16 2018 Jan 16, 2018 Tuesday, January 16, 2018 6:22:00 PM CST January 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA – People from the city of Columbia gathered at Tuesday night’s City Council meeting to discuss a community-oriented policing... More >>
20 hours ago Tuesday, January 16 2018 Jan 16, 2018 Tuesday, January 16, 2018 6:09:00 PM CST January 16, 2018 in News
COLUMBIA - Some homeless shelters in Columbia are at capacity and have waiting lists as temperatures plunge to near zero... More >>
20 hours ago Tuesday, January 16 2018 Jan 16, 2018 Tuesday, January 16, 2018 5:22:00 PM CST January 16, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway announced her office has begun an audit of the village of Centertown.... More >>
22 hours ago Tuesday, January 16 2018 Jan 16, 2018 Tuesday, January 16, 2018 3:47:00 PM CST January 16, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Several Republican lawmakers are calling for Gov. Eric Greitens, resignation after having an affair with an unnamed... More >>
23 hours ago Tuesday, January 16 2018 Jan 16, 2018 Tuesday, January 16, 2018 2:54:00 PM CST January 16, 2018 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Officials and the community are on high alert after two attempted child abductions, a little over a... More >>
23 hours ago Tuesday, January 16 2018 Jan 16, 2018 Tuesday, January 16, 2018 2:52:00 PM CST January 16, 2018 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - The city of Columbia cancelled residential garbage collections Tuesday due to extreme cold temperatures, but that doesn't mean... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, January 16 2018 Jan 16, 2018 Tuesday, January 16, 2018 2:07:00 PM CST January 16, 2018 in News
PULASKI COUNTY - Firefighters are investigating a fire that left one person dead Monday night. Virginia Saemp, a neighbor,... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, January 16 2018 Jan 16, 2018 Tuesday, January 16, 2018 11:09:00 AM CST January 16, 2018 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 20°
3pm 25°
4pm 25°
5pm 23°
6pm 21°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

2:00p
The Dr. Oz Show
3:00p
Dr. Phil
4:00p
Jeopardy!
2:00p
Maury
3:00p
The Robert Irvine Show
4:00p
The Goldbergs

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
The Blacklist
8:00p
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
9:00p
Chicago P.D.
7:00p
Riverdale
8:00p
Dynasty
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld