Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Egyptian solidarity: the Quran and the cross

Along with the rest of the world, Shannon and I have been watching the exciting, and sometimes tragic, events unfolding in Egypt as of late, feeling especially interested given our brief tour of Egypt last year and due to the large number of Egyptians expats residing here in the UAE. There are many things I could say to comment on the situation. But for now I'll highlight one phenomenon that I've found particularly moving, and that is the interfaith solidarity between the Muslims and Coptic Christians who are protesting against Mubarak. Historically, and especially in the few months preceding the revolution, there have been tensions between the two groups, but despite their differences they have been able to come together to forge a better future for Egyptians.

Muslim and Christian cleric together in Tahrir Square (Anonymous Source) 
On January 28th, the first day of truly massive protests, the Coptic Christians formed perimeters around a number of mosques in order to protect those inside who were engaged in their Friday noon prayers. And later in the week, when thousands of protesters had gathered in Tahrir Square, many Muslims paid back the favor and guarded the Coptic Christian priests as they performed mass. Truly inspiring! Let’s hope this behavior continues in the post-Mubarak Egypt and serves as a model for interfaith dialogue and collective action for others around the world.

Christians form protective perimeter around Muslims as they pray in Tahrir Square (Anonymous Source)


  1. Sam - This is an amazing report. Very moving. Too bad this hasn't been reported on the national news here in the USA.It would put an entirely different spin on the NYC mosque debacle.I wish I could figure out a way to send your story and pictures to my anti-Muslim/Christian friends. Love you, Mom

  2. Sam, What a heart-warming story in a sometimes very scary world. Thank you for taking the time to send this wonderful account of compassion and solidarity. I am going to share this with Fatimah,Uncle Corky's Muslim nurse,who is the epitome of a Christian. She always talks of how closely related the Muslim faith is to Christianity. Much love to you and Shannon

  3. Hey Shannon and Sam,

    I stumbled across your blog while google searching restaurants in Abu Dhabi. My husband and I are Americans that will soon be making a big move to the UAE. I would love to e-mail back correspond with you if, of course, you are interested or have time. Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Shelby and Tony

  4. Shelby, would be glad to answer any questions you might have. Leave a comment with your email address (I won't publish it) so I can contact you.