Reflections on Obama’s Mosque Visit

Reflections on Obama’s Mosque Visit

Many have praised President Obama’s recent visit to a Baltimore mosque and affiliated school. Others have been critical, but it is important to counter a rhetoric that is increasingly casting shadows upon fellow American citizens. But here are two Western Arab voices that express a little concern. The first is a UK-based Muslim, Nervana Mahmoud. … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Maadi, Murder

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Maadi, Murder

God, The news this week is gruesome, and hits too close to home. An Italian researcher was found dead on the side of the road with signs of torture evident. And a six-hour police siege near a Cairo suburb popular with foreigners resulted in the death of two alleged terrorists. Egypt needs peace, God. Perhaps … Continue reading

Q&A with an Expert in Customary Reconciliation Sessions

Q&A with an Expert in Customary Reconciliation Sessions

This article was first published at Arab West Report. For many Christians in Egypt, customary reconciliation sessions (CRS) represent one of the most visceral symbols of discrimination against their community. Existing outside the scope of formal law and justice, CRS offer a quick alternative to the lengthy judicial process as village elders and religious leaders … Continue reading

Egypt: African Handball Champion

Egypt: African Handball Champion

Congratulations to the Egyptian national handball team, for winning its sixth continental title on Saturday. While the national soccer team has slipped in quality since the revolution, the handball team holds steady as one of Africa’s best, defeating Tunisia in a hard-fought 21-19 final on home soil. Twelve nations took part in the competition, but … Continue reading

The Blasphemy Law is Here to Stay

The Blasphemy Law is Here to Stay

This article was first published at Egypt Source. Among the many battlegrounds between liberal and conservative visions for Egypt is the blasphemy law, with Islam al-Beheiry and Fatima Naoot its latest victims. Naoot was recently sentenced to three years and fined 20,000 Egyptian pounds ($2,500) for statements critical of the Eid al-Adha ritual of slaughtering … Continue reading

Two Futures of the Arab World

Two Futures of the Arab World

Writing in YaleBooks, Tarek Osman pens a long essay on how the region might develop – or devolve. There is an extensive recap of current ills, of which I will highlight two that are less noticeable on the nightly news: Arab educational institutions have been failing for decades now. No Arab university appears in any … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Finding Balance

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Finding Balance

God, Take care of Egypt. Every nation needs stability, as every nation needs liberty. Balance her rightly as friends fight for leverage and enemies aim to topple. May an honorable equilibrium come, and soon. With January 25 on the horizon, make the nation safe, free, and wise. The government moves against protest, while a weakened … Continue reading

Curing Hepatitis C in Egypt

Curing Hepatitis C in Egypt

A few decades ago a poorly–but widely–administered effort to immunize against a local disease resulted in ten percent of the Egyptian population becoming afflicted with Hepatitis C. Over the past year several headlines have celebrated the partnership of the Egyptian government with drug companies offering new treatments at a fraction of the cost. A recent … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Review and Oversight

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Review and Oversight

God, As the Egyptian parliament begins its constitutional mandate, provide it the wisdom necessary to serve the country well. Its first task is the review the dozens of laws passed in its absence. Given the restricted timeframe of fifteen days, they are widely expected to pass the great majority. But particular attention will be given … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Christmas, Terror

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Christmas, Terror

God, As Egypt receives echoes of both hope and horror, make true the promise and put down the threat. Help the people live in peace. The president once again visited the papal cathedral for Christmas mass. He esteemed the unity of the nation and assured all destroyed churches would be repaired this year. But terrorists … Continue reading

Dare Egypt Amend, or Even Abolish, Its Blasphemy Law?

Dare Egypt Amend, or Even Abolish, Its Blasphemy Law?

This article was first published by World Watch Monitor on January 8, 2016. Egypt’s Secular Party has called on President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to support legislation which cancels the blasphemy law, because, in the words of lawyer Hamdi al-Assyouti, it has “become a tool in the hands of extremists against minorities, thinkers, and the creative … Continue reading

Christian TV Helps ISIS Survivors

Christian TV Helps ISIS Survivors

This article was published at Christianity Today on January 7, 2016. Last spring, a 10-year-old Christian girl famously forgave ISIS for driving her family from their home in Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city. Myriam’s video interview with Christian broadcaster SAT-7 went viral, witnessed by more than 3 million people on television and social media. When Myriam … Continue reading

Top 10 Persecution Stories at CT

Top 10 Persecution Stories at CT

Many thanks to readers who have followed my articles at Christianity Today. CT just published a year-end summary of the ten most read stories about the persecuted church, and I am pleased to report my articles placed at numbers 1, 3, 6, and 10. That the articles needed to be written in the first place … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Consensus and Ideal

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Consensus and Ideal

God, Bless Egypt in this new year. Lead her to prosperity, lead her to justice. Lead her into common understanding of your ideals for both. To a great degree consensus is forming, God. Presidential popularity figures remain high. A non-polarized parliament was elected. The controversies of the revolutionary period are being left behind. But so … Continue reading