“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” ― Rob Siltanen
This post is a celebration of the lives of two young Egyptian activists who have been unjustly imprisoned where they remain to this day. It is a celebration lest we forget – of those two brave young men – the ‘crazy ones’ – who believed in change and tried to change at a very high personal cost. Those are: Alaa Abdel Fattah and Malek Adly. Continue reading
It has not been a good month for the Copts. More incidents occurred. But before I begin, let me just say that once the law has not been applied against some and excuses given for their behavior and reconciliation sessions continue, there is nothing to stop these extremists from emulating those incidents again and again which is what has been happening. I would like to stress once more the necessity of a just application of the law.
Anba Beemen of Malawi – rebuilding churches under way by Armed Forces
On a more positive note, however a newspaper announced that Anba Beemen, the church representative responsible for the rebuilding of churches, said that the Armed Forces has rebuilt 45 of the torched churches at a cost of 170m pounds. Anba Beemen had stated in January 2016 that the Armed Forces would begin rebuilding churches later than month and that the plan was to finish building all churches in time for Christmas 2016 [end of 2016]. He said that 22 churches had minor damages and those were restored by the church itself – besides the Armed Forces 45. The 45 included 28 areas with 19 churches and one Nile boat [the latter belonging to the Evangelical church], in addition to 10 buildings appended to churches. If true, this should be highlighted more in the media.
Please note all updates are at the bottom of this post.
On the international front, four major events happened: Brexit, the Nice,France attack, the racial horror in Dallas and the attempted coup in Turkey. There was widespread applauding of the Turkish coup in Egypt and tweeps as well as newspapers began a “gloating mode” – that finally Erdogan, anti-Sisi and pro-Ikhwan and pro-Morsi president – has been deposed. Except by the end of the day it turned into wishful thinking and the coup failed. But that was not before newspapers had already published headlines that Erdogan was gone.
Ahram newspaper headline: Turkish army deposes Erdogan and has taken control of country
Al Watan newspaper headline
Newspaper Al Mesa announcing pre-maturely that the British chose to ‘stay with Europe’.
[Please note, all updates on each of these individual cases are at the end of this post]
Although Pope Tawardos is a part of it, Copts are extremely angry and have expressed anger on social media and newspapers but also many Muslims share the same anger. This is an outrageous step given that Copts have repeatedly announced their adamant rejection of conciliatory sessions without the application of the law. Traditionally such sessions ended with the Copts making concessions to the Islamists, including leaving the village entirely.
Kom El Loofi:
Coptic families in Kom Al Loofi
Copts in this village are still being pressured to have a reconciliation meeting and withdraw their complaints against those who burnt their homes. Naturally, members of parliament who had gone with the media to ‘resolve the matter’ have all left and the Copts were left on to fend for themselves and on their own.
Important videos on the matter:
1- Copts in shock after seeing their torched homes.
This is the second post this week about Copts because there have been multiple incidents as well as updates on previous ones. Taken collectively, a clearly disturbing trend begins to surface. Needless to say, such incidents did occur before the current regime. While some of the reactions may seem similar, the fact remains that the expectations of the Copts for this particular regime had been different. After all, President Sisi is the first president to visit the Cathedral on a celebratory occasion which seemed to promise that he would be treating everyone equally. The murder in broad daylight of a priest in Al Areesh, the second priest after Father Mina to be murdered in this manner, the repeated incidents of the rumors that cause strife, especially those of ‘building churches’ and the insistence on reconciliation sessions instead of application of the law however, seem to show a continuum of the Mubarak regime policy.
Taken together with incidents affecting activists, lawyers and journalists in general, such as arrests, detentions and sometimes even torture, the Coptic plight, in my view, is part and parcel of a more far-reaching oppressive regime.
Here are the new incidents and some updates over the past week: Continue reading