The American director of an overseas study program was stabbed outside the gates of the United States embassy in Cairo on Thursday.
Chris Stone, head of the Center for Arabic Study Abroad, was set upon by an attacker and seriously wounded. The injuries were later said to be not life-threatening.
“We are all devastated by this news and pray for him and his family during this difficult time,” the center, known as CASA, told students in an email. “Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers.”
Stone was in an “unstable condition” at a Cairo hospital and an Egyptian arrested over the attack had refused to give any details about his motive, the source told Reuters.
U.S. embassy spokesman David Ranz confirmed the attack and said Stone was not affiliated with the embassy. It was not immediately clear if he was visiting the embassy at the time of the attack.
CASA officials said Stone had recovered from surgery and was assisting authorities in their investigation.
The state-run daily Al Ahram said Stone told prosecutors at a hospital that the attacker asked him his nationality and when learned he was American, pulled the knife and stabbed him.
ABC quoted Egypt’s official news agency MENA as reporting that security authorities believe a brawl broke out between the American and the attacker over a line to get inside the embassy.
The embassy was once heavily fortified, but security measures have been relaxed despite street protests during the past two years in nearby Tahrir Square, the focal point of the uprising that toppled longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak.