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Joy Sweeney said she wasn’t sure when her son, a student at Georgetown University, would be returning to their home in Jefferson City, Mo.

“If he can find his passport (then he’ll leave) tomorrow, if not, it won’t be until Monday,” she said.

She said the U.S. consul general in Egypt, Roberto Powers, recommended that her son leave Egypt as soon as possible.

“He also conveyed that that was what Derrik had conveyed to him that he wanted to do. He was enjoying his experience but (was) ready to be done with it,” Sweeney said.

Derrik Sweeney interned for U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-Mo., earlier this year. Luetkemeyer’s spokesman Paul Sloca, said the congressman is “extremely pleased that he’s safe and coming home, especially on Thanksgiving.”

Sweeney said she had not prepared for a Thanksgiving celebration, although a friend had taken her some food. She said the idea of a Thanksgiving feast had seemed “absolutely irrelevant” before the news of her son’s pending freedom.

Asked what she thought her son would take away from his arrest, Sweeney said she thought he would make something useful of it.

“I’m sure that he’ll put a life-lesson learning experience into a positive story,” Sweeney said. “He’s a writer, he will write about this experience.”

Associated Press reporter Ed Donahue in Washington contributed to this report. Hadeel Al-Shalchi reported from Cairo.