Tagged with Maghagha

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

The Story of a Village Church

The Story of a Village Church

From my recent article at Arab West Report: A man named ‘lantern’ finds a buried treasure, and with the money builds a church and extends a priesthood. If only all tales of Coptic Orthodox churches were so adventurous. (Some are.) The village of Qufada, home of the Virgin Mary and St. Abaskhiroun Church, is about … Continue reading

How Salafis Supported the Constitution in Upper Egypt

How Salafis Supported the Constitution in Upper Egypt

Post-Morsi, some say, the Salafi Nour Party was pushed into a corner. Others say they played their cards perfectly. In any case they supported the 2014 constitution despite its removal of religious provisions they largely orchestrated only two years earlier. While the Muslim Brotherhood and most other non-Nour Salafis railed against what they called the … Continue reading

Instability in Upper Egypt, Experienced

Ever since the revolution Egypt has suffered / benefited from waves of popular protest. The expressions in Tahrir Square were largely political, yet included a significant expression of social and economic discontent. The original chant which rang through the streets demanded, ‘Bread, Freedom, and Social Justice.’ Most focus since the revolution has been on political … Continue reading

Maspero: Moving Toward a Standoff?

Yesterday while visiting the Copts at Maspero, Ramy Kamel, General Coordinator of the Maspero Youth Union, beamed with a smile on his face. ‘The sit-in will end tomorrow. They have agreed to our demands.’ Today I saw Kamel again, sitting dejectedly on the sidewalk. ‘There is one church that is not yet opened. They agreed … Continue reading

Expectations in Maghagha

note: About a week before the revolution, our family took a trip to Maghagha in Upper Egypt. Whereas normally we would have liked to post about our experiences shortly after returning, events took a turn that did not allow much time for reflection. Two months later, Julie is finally able to share our experiences, with … Continue reading

Easter, Reluctantly

Easter in Egypt is a negotiated reality; this is true for both the nation’s Christians and myself. All last week at work I wondered about the holiday schedule. Ours is a multi-religious and liberal office; if someone wishes a religious holiday, they can pretty much have it. The Copts who work with us would take … Continue reading

A Priest’s Opinion on Nag Hamadi

During our stay in Maghagha for Coptic Christmas, we got to see Christian reactions first hand as the news about the killings in Nag Hamadi began to spread. We discussed this somewhat in our reflections on Day One and Day Two of our Christmas celebration. There was shock, discouragement, and resignation. Sadly, many Copts believe … Continue reading

Coptic Christmas: Day Three

Today we visited two “Holy Family Sites” near Maghagha.    For those who know the Bible story, you may remember that due to the threat of Herod’s soldiers coming to kill the babies under age 2 in Bethlehem, Joseph took his small family down to Egypt before returning to Nazareth.  From what I know and remember, … Continue reading

Coptic Christmas: Day Two

The lack of sleep did cost us the next morning, though, as we were due to pay a visit to the area bishop for breakfast at 8:00am sharp. In the Coptic Orthodox Church the bishop is only one level below the pope, and carries great authority and responsibility. Christmas duties pressed on everyone, but he … Continue reading

A Coptic Christmas of Joy and Sorrow

There is complicating news today. It is significant enough that you may already know about it. Six Christians and a policeman were killed today in an ambush as they were exiting midnight mass in an Upper Egyptian town to the north of Luxor. I wish to be careful in conveying information because I have been … Continue reading

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve

You may remember Jayson’s post from Dec. 25 entitled “Today is Not Christmas”.  Well, we have been able to extend our celebration of Christmas being here in Egypt, and finally, tomorrow, January 6, we will celebrate Coptic Christmas Eve.  We are still establishing our traditions, as he mentioned, but for this first Christmas in Egypt, … Continue reading