Friday Prayers for Egypt: A Bad Week

Friday Prayers for Egypt: A Bad Week

God, Many are dead, with increasing sophistication. Have mercy on Egypt, and let this pass. A remotely detonated bomb killed the public prosecutor, the first high official assassinated in two decades. A terrorist offensive in the Sinai was ultimately driven back by the army, but not before several hours of bloody conflict. A Muslim Brotherhood … Continue reading

Egypt, Up and Down

Egypt, Up and Down

Two global index reports recently released provide perspective on Egypt these days. Security is up, law is down. According to the Global Peace Index, Egypt experienced the third largest jump among the 162 studied nations. Unfortunately, ranked at 137, it still has a long way to go. The assassination of the prosecutor general is indicative … Continue reading

The Countdown to June 30, in Retrospect

The Countdown to June 30, in Retrospect

Two years later, how did Mohamed Morsi lose power? What was the political climate like? How large were the protests? Was it a coup? An Egyptian Christian, Paul Attallah, has provided a recap based on his email newsletter at the time. I often convey his information in my ‘analysis’ page, as his collection of news … Continue reading

The Brotherhood as the Jihadi Source

The Brotherhood as the Jihadi Source

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry recently called the Muslim Brotherhood the source of all extremist ideology. The article does not give a detailed rationale, though the accusation is repeated often by many anti-Islamists in Egypt. This article in al-Monitor, however, explains how it works: The Islamists see a wide systematic conflict between the Brotherhood and … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Journalism, Minus

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Journalism, Minus

God, Help Egypt know the truth about herself. Help her know the truth about her region. Give her good journalists of good conscience, with the freedom to do their job well. A prominent NGO has said Egypt has jailed more journalists than ever before. The state replies all are held on non-press issues. A prominent … Continue reading

Mama Maggie, by Makary and Vaughn: A Review

Mama Maggie, by Makary and Vaughn: A Review

How much good can one person do? Why do anything when the need is so great? One woman’s mission to love the forgotten children of Egypt’s garbage slums offers a glimpse into answers for these questions. A rich Egyptian girl who grew up in a doctor’s family and continued her affluent lifestyle into her 30s, … Continue reading

The Pope, Preaching Esther

The Pope, Preaching Esther

Five-and-a-half years ago, I had the opportunity to hear Pope Shenouda preach. The now-deceased 87-year-old had presided over the Coptic Orthodox Church for 39 years, along the way establishing a new tradition of holding a weekly meeting with the people every Wednesday. Last week in my first visit since, I witnessed his successor Pope Tawadros … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Former Heroes

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Former Heroes

God, It has been a bad week for former heroes in Egypt. Mohamed Morsi had his death sentence confirmed. Ahmed Shafik languishes in the UAE. And revolutionary activists are disappearing. Not all were universally loved. Some were at loggerheads. But each was endeared by a substantial segment of the population. That segment has shrunk, and … Continue reading

Emma, Alone in a Class of Muslims

Emma, Alone in a Class of Muslims

Egyptian schools are known for large class sizes and a not-so-great student-teacher ratio. But our third-grade daughter, in one class at least, has a private lesson. Despite being in a class of 31 students, Emma studies religion one-on-one with the teacher. The Egyptian system separates Muslims and Christians for religious education, and Emma is the … Continue reading

The Burden of an Azhar Sheikh

The Burden of an Azhar Sheikh

Sheikh Saeed Ibrahim was very keen to see my parents. He canceled an appointment to meet them, making sure the opportunity was not missed before they returned to America. He wanted this picture taken, and he wants you to see it. He would be very pleased if you share. “I want the world to see … Continue reading

A Christian Captain for Iranian Soccer

A Christian Captain for Iranian Soccer

Yesterday I posted about religious contradiction in Saudi Arabia. Today posts a Guardian article about Iran, in the other direction: The 32-year-old midfielder, known as Ando – or Samurai, due to his hairstyle – is not shy of showing his Christianity, often crossing himself on the field. In April, Teymourian, who has played for Bolton … Continue reading

Exploiting Saudi Arabia’s Tension of Identity

Exploiting Saudi Arabia’s Tension of Identity

The Washington Institute interprets the targeting of Shiites in Saudi Arabia as hitting at a vulnerable point in their religio-political ideology: Over the past two weeks, the so-called “Islamic State” (IS) has claimed two attacks on Shiite mosques in Saudi Arabia’s Shiite-majority Eastern Province, one in Dammam and the other in Qatif. While the incidents … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Europe

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Europe

God, It is Egyptians who must determine their leadership. Bless her with enduring independence and government of the people. But Europe has a significant influence in legitimizing. President Sisi visited Germany and Hungary to strengthen ties and secure trade. Meanwhile a group of international Islamic scholars gathered in Turkey to give religious justification to resist … Continue reading