St. Landry

Jan 31, 2011 9:13 PM by Maddie Garrett

Eunice Family Trapped in Egypt

Thousands of Americans stranded in Egypt are trying to flee the country, including a family from right here in Acadiana. The past week has been difficult for former mayor of Eunice, Curtis Joubert, because his daughter and two young grandchildren have been trapped in Cairo, fearing for their lives.

Candace Joubert met her husband, Taha Khalifa, while they were both studying at UL. They married after college and Khalifa, a Cairo native, was transferred to his home country to work as the Country Manager for Intel Corporation Egypt.

"He happened to be in America for a conference, I believe in Los Angeles, when all hell broke loose. So he was stranded in America, couldn't get to Egypt and she was in Egypt with the two kids," explained Joubert.

When the violent protests broke out in Cairo, Joubert immediately grew concerned for his daughter and grandchildren, ages 12 and 13.

"I don't know what's going to happen to them, we can't talk. The phone systems are virtually cut off, can't email each other. So I'm just sitting here sweating it out," said Joubert.

Joubert said he hasn't been able to reach his daughter until early Sunday morning, when she finally got through on the phone. They had a brief and hurried conversation.

"To tell me she could hardly sleep, they were locked in their house, it was terrible, she was scared to death," said Joubert about their conversation.

Candace told him she and the children stayed locked in her room with knives at night in case rioters broke in. Joubert said he is extremely worried and hopes they can get home soon.

"We hung up and I was just more concerned than ever then, because then I started realizing what she was going through. And it broke my heart to think that she was locked up in her room with the two kids fearing for her life," he said.

Joubert said he did receive word that his son in law had made it to Cairo Monday. Now that the family is reunited, they are trying to get on a plane out of Egypt and hopefully back to Louisiana.

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