daniel nour

Joy and suffering for Coptic Christians

In Community, Political on February 25, 2015 at 11:51 am

Mideast Egypt Islamic StateThe Coptic Church has certainly undergone great suffering recently, with the murder of the 21 young men from Al-Minya province, being broadcasted and discussed widely. 

However, less known to the public has been the recent construction of the first Coptic-Catholic Church in the Sinai.

The Coptic Catholic church, which has only existed in Egypt since the 1700’s, has less than 200 000 members and its parishioners mainly live in Upper Egypt, according to a report by the Catholic Near East Welfare Association.

“This is a great day of joy for Catholics in Egypt,” the local ordinary, Coptic Catholic Bishop Makarios Tewfik of Ismailia, said at the consecration ceremony, according to a report by Aid to the Church in Need.???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

The Lebanese Catholic Community in Sydney

In Community on February 4, 2015 at 7:23 am

St Charbel’s church, a parish community of Maronite Catholics in Sydney, Australia, recently hosted a conference for a group of its young people. The event centred around themes of purpose and hope.

Shortly after the camp, a twenty year old statue of the Virgin Mary was attacked at St Charbel’s church, creating a spirit of unease in the same community.

Virgin Mary statue vandalised at St Charbel's parish

Virgin Mary statue vandalised at St Charbel’s parish. Courtesy of NewsLocal

St Charbel’s has been a hub of community life for Lebanese Catholics for many years. It was featured in the SBS television programme, “Once upon a time in Punchbowl,” and witnessed some of the tensions that, throughout the nineties, made Punchbowl a byword for Lebanese gang crime. Last year it hosted an enormous procession of Eastern and Western Christians in a rare Easter celebration.

My article in the Canterbury Bankstown Express captures the great and worthwhile contribution of the parish to community life, and of its work for local young people.

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Free at last!?

In Arab world, egypt, Political on February 2, 2015 at 4:58 am

The release of Peter Greste this week has produced great jubilation.

Greste’s implication in a political struggle between Australia and Qatar, the nation from which Al Jazeera Arabic was broadcast, saw him placed in the wrong place, at the wrong time.

The anxiety and torments of Greste’s parents, Juris and Lois, captured in my interview with them in June last year, stands in stark contrast to their joy in the knowledge of their son’s release, visible below.

Sky News captures joy of Greste family after news of Peter Greste's release.

Sky News captures joy of Greste family after news of Peter Greste’s release.

In Egypt the complicated interplay of the State as both the protector of Egyptians from malicious forces, internal and external, as well as their oppressor, the cause of their humiliation and degradation in police prisons, continues.

Baher Mohamed and Mohamed Fahmy, Peter Greste’s colleagues, are still in prison, as are a multitude of other civilian activists.

Shaimah El Sabbagh, poet and activist who was shot and killed by police two weeks ago, while paying her respects to commemorate the martyrs of the fourth anniversary of the revolution, represents the difficult relationship between the State and its people.

Watch out for my interview with Egyptian political scientist, Mariz Tadros, for a clearer breakdown of just where Egyptians, young people, Brotherhood supporters and Copts, stands with their Government, four years on from the revolution.

Update: http://www.egyptindependent.com//news/sisi-urges-arrest-slain-activist-s-killer

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