Virginia, Asharq Al-Awsat- The Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed yesterday that one of the victims of the Virginia Tech massacre was Egyptian post graduate student Waleed Mohamed Shaalan.
Shaalan, a native of the Nile Delta town of Zagazig, had gone to Virginia last year to study for a Ph.D. in civil engineering. He was hit by three bullets, including one in the head, while in a classroom building, according to Egypt’s state-run Middle East News Agency, MENA.
Ambassador Mahmoud Ouf from the Egyptian foreign ministry said that the Egyptian embassy in Washington has made all the necessary arrangements to return the body to Egypt. His father, who previously held the position of deputy minister for public works and water resources, told Asharq Al-Awsat that his son contacted him daily via the Internet but on the day of the shootings did not do so as usual.
The father learned of the tragedy from the satellite news channels, however a day later a colleague of Waleed called and informed him of the tragedy; the father who wept intensely said they murdered the ambitions of his son, who was a genius.
Shaalan was married with a 15-month-old son. He told his family Sunday that he planned to come home in May to take his wife and son back to the states.