Violence, Protests In Egypt Separate Tulsa Family

Friday, February 11th 2011, 9:42 pm
By: News On 6

Lacie Lowry, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma – Egypt is holding its biggest party in decades, celebrating the resignation of its longtime president after 18 days of anti-government protests.

A grim Vice President Omar Suleiman went on national TV to announce that Mubarak was handing control of the country to the military. That came less than 24 hours after Mubarak announced he was transferring most of his powers to the vice president.

Some of Oklahoma's own evacuated Egypt before Friday's announcement.

Tiffany Bishop and her children left Cairo on January 31st, as anti-government demonstrations grew more violent.

Tiffany's husband, Barrett, works for the U.S. government and sent his family on a 6,000 mile journey, while he had to stay behind. Tiffany said it took her five days to make the journey from Cairo to Tulsa, with three young children in tow.

"I was five months from leaving Cairo for good and never in my wildest dreams thought this is the way I would be leaving," Tiffany Bishop said.

Tiffany Bishop evacuated with her kids to her in-laws home, not because of the demonstrations, but to escape the violent aftermath.

"The gunfire, the street behind us was annihilated, they destroyed every store, burnt all the goods. We were 500 yards from the police station. It was on fire the first day," Bishop said.

Barrett Bishop works in Diplomatic Security for the U.S. State Department. He's been helping nearly 3,000 Americans out of Cairo.

Tiffany and Barrett are Jenks High School sweethearts and Valentine's Day is their 11th anniversary.  The decision to evacuate was heartbreaking.

"I felt like I was probably saying goodbye for a while," Tiffany said. "I have a 10-month-old son who just started walking and he's missing that."

The three kids have never lived in America before, so the adjustment isn't over.

"It's hard," Tiffany said. "It's hard to explain to your children every day you wake up that, 'no, today's not the day you are going to see daddy and I don't know when you are going to see him."

The family is taking things day-by-day and Tiffany looks forward to seeing where Egypt goes from here. She wishes she could go back and see it for herself.

"I'm happy for the Egyptian people," she said. "It's amazing, but this is the first step in a really, really long process."

Tiffany says evacuations are done 30 days at a time.  So in one month, the American government will decide where families like the Bishops go from here.

Barrett's three-year assignment to Cairo is scheduled to be up in August.