One Year after Egyptian Imprisonment, Youth out of Limelight

4 years 4 months 4 days ago December 19, 2012 Dec 19, 2012 Wednesday, December 19 2012 Wednesday, December 19, 2012 4:54:00 PM CST 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
ARGYLE - For years, the Rock Island rail line carried trains across Missouri, straight through towns like Eldon, Freeburg and... More >>
17 minutes ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 3:50:00 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A teenager who was shot by a Kansas City store clerk who thought the boy was... More >>
28 minutes ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 3:39:00 PM CDT in News
BALLWIN, Mo. (AP) — St. Louis County authorities are investigating an apparent murder-suicide involving a couple in their 80s. ... More >>
1 hour ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 2:35:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Police say a 51-year-old St. Louis-area woman died while she was sleeping when she was struck... More >>
1 hour ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 2:29:00 PM CDT in News
EUREKA, Mo. (AP) — A Mexican wolf born this month at a wildlife center in suburban St. Louis is offering... More >>
1 hour ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 2:17:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The Boone County Community Services Department recently released its 2016 Annual Report and Program Directory, which highlights where... More >>
2 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 1:34:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - President Donald Trump's proposed spending plan for 2018 significantly reduces funding for a range of executive departments, from... More >>
3 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 12:13:00 PM CDT in News
FULTON - Two men are on the run after assaulting a man in his home and stealing cash and other... More >>
4 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 11:23:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - A new report shows that only about one in every 10 Americans eats enough fruits and vegetables. Just... More >>
5 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 11:06:00 AM CDT in Weekly Wellness
COLUMBIA - Police are still looking for a suspect they said robbed a convenience store in west Columbia early Monday... More >>
5 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 10:14:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - A controversial bill moving through the Missouri General Assembly could change the handling of workplace discrimination claims in... More >>
6 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 10:06:15 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Authorities say a man has been killed and a woman wounded in a shooting at convenience... More >>
7 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 9:04:00 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Police say a vehicle has struck and killed an 8-year-old boy in St. Louis. The... More >>
7 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 8:55:00 AM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say a 23-year-old man has been fatally shot in Kansas City. The Kansas... More >>
8 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 7:53:00 AM CDT in News
BALLWIN, Mo. (AP) — Authorities are investigating the deaths of an 83-year-old man and an 80-year-old woman in St. Louis... More >>
8 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 7:50:00 AM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Missouri is launching a new program for tax-free savings accounts to help families financially support people... More >>
8 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 7:34:00 AM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The Audubon Society of Missouri (ASM) combined nature and technology with a new interactive bird sighting app. ... More >>
21 hours ago April 23, 2017 Apr 23, 2017 Sunday, April 23 2017 Sunday, April 23, 2017 7:02:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A routine inspection of the Missouri River bridge in Jefferson City will close down one lane Monday... More >>
22 hours ago April 23, 2017 Apr 23, 2017 Sunday, April 23 2017 Sunday, April 23, 2017 5:13:00 PM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 77°
5pm 77°
6pm 75°
7pm 72°
8pm 68°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

3:00p
Dr. Phil
4:00p
Jeopardy!
4:30p
Jeopardy!
3:00p
The Robert Irvine Show
4:00p
Cops Reloaded
4:30p
The Cleveland Show

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
The Voice
9:01p
Taken
7:00p
Supergirl
8:00p
Jane the Virgin
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld