Posted in November 2011

Coptic Preparation for Elections, in Tanta

From before the revolution, many Copts have realized their community suffers from a dearth of political and civic participation. The Coptic Orthodox Church’s Bishopric of Youth, for example, has an area of focus entitled ‘Promoting Coptic Participation in Society’, which I encountered when a representative spoke at our local church encouraging the congregation to register … Continue reading

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Early Election Observations in Egypt

I took a stroll through our neighborhood this morning to see the early activity surrounding our four public schools hosting parliamentary elections. Polls opened at 8am, and I crossed the street, walked a block, and began to observe. A few things stuck me immediately. First, a long line. Over 100 people were in cue, side … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt

God, In trying and troubling times, be a refuge for all Egyptians. Give them wisdom to know whom to trust, whom to follow, and whom to encourage in building the nation. May decisions made now be right; may they lay a solid foundation. Protect Egypt from manipulation; protect her from harm. Give clarity; expose deceit. … Continue reading

The Church Field Hospital at Tahrir Square

As clashes and demonstrations have resumed in Cairo and throughout Egypt, I have been closely following information to try and decipher what is going on. I wish soon to be able to publish a helpful summation of events, but things are happening so quickly, and in essence I remain confused about the ‘why’ of everything, … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt: The Friday of One Demand

God, In fact there were two: An April deadline for presidential elections with return to civilian rule, and withdrawal of a document granting the military a special role in crafting the constitution. Furthermore, there were two groups protesting: The substantial majority was Islamist; the sizeable minority was youth/leftist/liberal reminiscent of the revolution. The latter continue … Continue reading

Who are We, and What do We Want? – Evaluation

This post is part two, following up with an evaluation of a post-revolution Muslim Brotherhood booklet which reprints selected writings of their founder, Hassan al-Banna. For part one, which is a summary translation of the book, please click here. This post opens by finding first that which is worthy, and then re-lists controversial statements which … Continue reading

Sign of the Times

Exiting our local metro station the other day I saw this sign posted above the entrance: It translates: The hijab (Islamic head covering) is a religious obligation, just like prayer. Cover yourself before you are held accountable. That sounds ominous, but it can read that the holding accountable is done by God. Still, in some … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt

God, Advance prayers are necessary this week, God, as a possibly crucial next stage approaches. Elections are on the horizon, but a closer hurdle looms. A proposal exists that would shape the next constitution, granting the military an influential role, while limiting the influence of the elected parliament. As Egypt never clearly defined the eventual … Continue reading

The Political Education of a Sandmonkey

As a result of the Arab Spring and the fall of Mubarak, Egypt is witnessing a surge in political participation as young revolutionaries enroll in the political process. One such figure is Mahmoud Salem, otherwise known from his blog as ‘Sandmonkey’. Salem was an early activist against Mubarak, using social media such as Facebook and … Continue reading

Friday Prayers for Egypt

God, How good and pleasant it is for brothers to live together in unity. Elections in Egypt need not fracture unity, nor the writing of a new constitution. Yet they may. Perhaps they have. Or perhaps they will forge a new unity. Foundations are being laid, God. Grant the people a firm cornerstone of a … Continue reading