Perhaps there are few positive aspects of the Corona pandemic such as highlighting the importance Scientific research in general, and especially in the field of health.
In this regard, no one denies that universities in Egypt have played a wonderful role in building the national cultural identity of the Egyptian personality. People considered universities as holy places like houses of worship. Now, after several decades, we need to ensure the moral responsibility of the professors and encourage them to increase research, thinking and practice democracy inside the campus and present a good model for the students.
Among the funny stories that our Arab history celebrates in this context, is what happened to Mrs. Zubaydah, wife of Harun al-Rashid as she saw a large number of people gathered on the shore of the river to celebrate and welcome a scientist arriving from Baghdad, She said, indeed this the glory of knowledge and scholars.
This is true since people choose to offer love for scientists and they are not forced to. The Corona virus catastrophe has alerted us to the importance of serious work in the field of scientific media to enrich scientific awareness of the Egyptian citizen.
For many years, we have never heard about any of the great Egyptians artists who used religious or moral discourse? The answer is simply because they were real artists who had real talents.
Their work became masterpieces in our modern history and some of them reached international level. Thus, they didn’t need to use religion to gain the respect of their audience.
This gives us hint about many artists who don’t have great talents and try to trade on religion to appear as respectable as much as he or she can. Our community has been marked by fake religious identity that doesn’t fit good art. Only great artists live through their lasting work.
President Sisi announced lately that Egypt might enter Libya and fight against Libian who are supported by Fayez El-Sarag who is also supported by Turkey.
The situation is very difficult and the picture looks very complicated as there is no doubt if Sarag troops reached to “ Seert” and “ Goffra” they would represent a real threat to Sisi because if the Brotherhood was a neighbour to Egypt that might cause a lot of troubles and turmoil to the Sisi regime.
With a mighty rushing wind, and tongues as of fire appearing, the gathered disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. This was a new birth of the church and it became a feast to celebrate each year. On that day, the evangelism spread to the whole world.
His Holiness Pope Tawadros II in his article titled Pentecost, talked about the importance of the Holy Spriti for the Church. Thus, we pray saying: O Heavenly King, the Comforter, the Spirit of truth, who is present in all places and fills all, the treasury of good things and the Life‑Giver, graciously come, and dwell in us and purify us from all defilement, O Good One, and save our souls.
The speech of St. Paul on that day was translated by the Holy Spirit and gave it power to make great effect in the people. The same power supported the apostles who spread the evangelism all over the world.
With the Holy Spirit we received many things: First, the spirit of truth and knowledge that gave a simple fisherman the power to make thousands of people believe. Second, the spirit of comfort against all concerns and problems, and thus it called the Comforter. Third, the Spirit of Unity as Jesus Christ called us to be one in faith. The Holy Spirit also gives us this unity in the mystery of marriage. As for the fruits of the soul, it was said of them: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness
As the Church is fasting the Apostles, it trains us to renew the spirit in our hearts and put our trust in this almighty God. Let s pray to receive the Holy Spirit and gain its joyful fruits.
President Al-Sisi said in his recent speech that the Egyptian army is one of the most powerful armies in the region, but it is a rational army that protects and does not threaten. It is able to defend Egypt s national security inside and outside the borders of the country, Al-Sisi added.
I believe his reasonable words form an important message on the international level, after converting the Renaissance Dam file to the Security Council after Egypt failed to achieve progress with Ethiopia through negotiations. Security Council can use its authority to cut diplomatic ties or impose economic or military sanctions in case it decided that the Renaissance Dam crisis threatens world peace and security.
The president s speech sends also a strong message to Erdogan who is building bases in Libya and moving his forces to the capital, Tripoli. The message: Egypt is able to protect its borders and that Egypt s and Libya s security is the same.
In fact, Egypt is facing several wars on its western borders, as well as the eastern border, and the southern border. This mission is one of the most sacred for the Egyptian army. There are also some internal wars against rumors, terrorism, and the COVID-19 pandemic. Not to mention the development projects everywhere in Egypt. Therefore, we need to realize the danger of the situation and to support our country as much as possible.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said that Egypt has the right of international legitimacy at this point, based on the United Nations Charter, to militarily intervene in the Libyan crisis.This came during a televised speech at the Western Military Zone while inspecting Egypt s air force and commando units stationed in the Sidi Barrani air base.
I wonder why did we succeed to liberate Egyptian citizens detained in Libya by negotiation, but we failed to negotiate with Ethiopia concerning the Renaissance dam ignoring all our historic rights in the Nile River.
We may have decided to use military strike in Libya since it s more closer and dangerous right now. On the other hand, Ethiopia needs months to fill the dam and cause direct harm to the Egyptians. Turkey is manipulating Libya and setting its military on its land and water threatening the Egyptian national security.
We need to discuss if the military option is available with Ethiopia giving the long distance and the Israeli missile system that protects the dam. The intervention in Libya became more understood because of its necessity and legitimacy, which is understood world wide as Turkey is moving hundreds of terrorists to Libya. It also threatens Egyptian security and pride. Egypt has also relied on the Libyan parliament headed by Mr. Aqila Saleh.
What about the legitimacy of military action against Ethiopia? I clearly see that reaching it is sought by Egypt through a UN Security Council resolution preventing Ethiopia from filling the dam, and this will give Egypt justification to take military action against Ethiopia that do not implement the decision of the military council.
The last question, is our suffering economy because of Corona virus is able to suffer more because of a war. Will the people tolerate more increase in prices, lack of food, and losses because of several wars at the same time? I know we have to fight this war, but we need to make it quick and painful in order to avoid its negative effects.
More than twenty-eight years ago, I was introduced to Bishop Gregory of Scientific research. In 1973, I was a law student at Ain Shams, and I was responsible for bringing keynote speakers for the Coptic family in the college. His first speech to us was entitled: Lawyer and truth, in which he explained to us that Jesus Christ is the greatest lawyer and how we should follow His foot steps.
Since that date, I began a friendship with the great theologian. I used to visit him every now and then to spend couple of hours discussing various subjects, including theological, legal and social topics. In the early eighties I visited him after the issuance of a ruling from the Court of Zagazig to permit polygamy for Christians. I found him a great legal and religious expert who could defend the Christian point of view.
When I asked him to introduce my book The nullity of marriage and the reasons for divorce in Christian laws , he spent one month revising it and didn t revise the information only, but he fixed some grammar mistakes in the book.
I knew him encouraging and motivating to participate in the national work. He encouraged me to run for parliamentary elections in Shubra and supported me to get many votes. He also was a great defender of the Coptic Orthodox Church. He was so humble, loving, simple, accurate and scientists.
It seems that Egypt is facing real challenges in many issues, Libya from one side and Ethiopia from another side, however, in my opinion, the Ethiopian issue is more serious and is a real threat to all Egyptians.
We need to greet Egypt for the diplomatic efforts that have been done so far. Egypt has exhausted all means to convince Ethiopia to have agreement with Egypt and Sudan before starting in running the “ Nahda Dam”.
Everybody is hoping that September comes with a vaccine for COVID-19 according to several statements by officials in America and Egypt. Oxford confirms that it will produce more than four hundred million doses of the vaccine for Europe and America. Trump is repeatedly asking to accelerate the pace of work in the vaccine in America, while for American s good and for his own interest as the elections approaches.
120 countries announced they are reaching a vaccine, but sadly Egypt was not among them. Our country cares more about building churches and mosques as well as roads, but health scientific research and education are not yet among our priorities!
Police sometimes have to use violence when dealing with some dangerous people who may harm officers and kill them. This doesn’t justify the murder of George Floyd which revealed hateful racism inside the American society, which also exists in severel countries around the world.
The peaceful demonstrations soon turned into violence that extended into the looting of shops and the burning of police headquarters and cars, which may reflect the interference of several parties like the rival Democratic Party of President Trump, Islamic organizations or even American leftist organizations. It should be noted that the four officers whom are accused of killing Floyd include Americans of white, black, Asian and Mexican backgrounds. This means they have not intended to kill the man, but the use of excessive force led to his murder.
The file of the disappearance of Christian girls has been my main concern since the late nineties of the last century until the number of disappeared girls and women reached in the late Mubarak era to approximately 1490 cases. In my first media interview in 2004, I demanded the return of two kidnapped Christian girls from Dakahlia governorate. I presented several facts that led President Mubarak to interfere and the Interior minister ordered police to find the two disappeared girls , and so was done and the girls returned home after they were kidnapped.
As the world is facing the COVID-19 pandemic, which claimed lives of hundreds of thousands of people all over the world. Thus, many preventive measures were taken everywhere including the shut down of churches and suspend of its services. Yet, Pope announced in a television interview that the Holy Synod may decide to change the way of taking communion and abolish the Mastier (the spoon used in the Coptic rituals of taking communion)
Christianity is not dead, and all living things are subject to change and development. Moreover, Jesus Christ didn’t use such spoon on Maundy Thursday, and the Church doesn’t use the spoon upon delivering communion to the patients at home and hospitals.
Therefore, it is normal to change things that have nothing to do with the pure Christian faith and we trust that the Holy Synod will make the right decision for the church and the congregation.
In the past few years, many people try to judge the church and attack Pope Tawadros and the bishops. I we like to judge, we have to judge ourselves before judging church fathers who are already suffering a lot and are in dire need for our prayers instead.
People tend to refuse any advice other people try to introduce to them and think they know everything, and they are adults enough to get advice from anyone.
While Covid19 increases drastically in Egypt and the number of deaths and infected people increase every day, we see a lot of Egyptian not taking the disease seriously enough and they are still insisting in not practicing social distancing or be cautious to not group with families or friends.
Each of us is vulnerable to getting into problems, but we need to learn how to solve them and avoid troubles through the support of our Lord.
The late Pope Shenouda III in his article ways to solve problems explained to us that there are many wrong ways that some people resort to in order to solve their problems, but they always lead to troubles. Violence and shouting may cause extra troubles, make people angry, and lose their friendship and love.
Using one s authority may force the people to follow your orders, but not to love you. Some people may prefer to escape from problems thinking that it is the best solution, but in this case the problems will grow and increase.
The best way to solve problems is by thinking rationally and asking God for wisdom like Suleiman the Wise. We may also resort to fasting and prayers like the saints and never forget to have patience and long-suffering.
When you face a problem, never resort to your own abilities and powers, but ask for God s support and wisdom since He is the best friend and consultant you can ever have.
Yesterday, on my way back home, I passed by Tahrir Square, which I was surprised by its beautiful new look and lighting. However, I expected more in the nearby locations and squares.
Such project gives good indications about the situation in Egypt, but it doesn’t reassure me on the future of my children. I hope we will be able to restore our life, attend football matches and enjoy our life.
It is not enough to build new cities and roads, but to restore humanity and safety. People in America are fighting to get their rights even though they already have clean roads and cities. We need food for our souls just like our bodies.
Some people write on their Facebook pages that George Floyd was a criminal as if they want to silence millions of people who demonstrated in his name. The truth is that nobody said the man was an angel or saint.
George Floyd is a victim of hideous racism and brutal killing by a police man representing law and justice who has been killing a man for more than 8 minutes in cold blood as he puts his hand in his pocket and knees on the neck of his victim. This police officer spend this night in his bed while the victim was in the dead refrigerator.
Floyd became a symbol for oppressed humans, and this has nothing to do with his dark skin color. Yet, another African-America man was killed four years ago the same way and was crying: I can t breath. Thus, Floyd became an extension for the African-American case since they were brought to America 400 years ago.
Racism still exists in America, and only yesterday a number of statues were removed of a number of people who were fighting against Abraham Lincoln defending their right of buying salves!
Therefore, the name and pictures of George Floyd will remain a symbol of victims of racism and brutality everywhere. The people should reject injustice, and teach those who don t care about killing people for their race or faith.
We do appreciate heroism and sacrifice of police and army soldiers during war on terrorism to defend the homeland. On the other hand, we find the religious institutions offering full support to the doctors and nurses by donations and prayers during the current pandemic. Furthermore, the churches were closed and all church activities were suspended. Yet, some people rejected such decision and maybe they didn t know that 3 priests tested positive for Corona virus according to Archbishop Markos of Shubra al-Khaimah.
In Germany, 112 people were infected by COVID-19 after attending the Holy Mass in a church in Frankfort. The church announced later that they didn t completely followed the preventive measures.
I believe the churches and mosques have to participate in facing the pandemic by raising awareness and supporting the health system. Moreover, I expected greater role to the Family House organization including Al-Azhar and the Coptic Orthodox Church.
There is no doubt that the role of the religious establishment is very important at this critical time, and it is better to use technology to pray and lead people spiritually instead of reopening churches and mosques and use them to spread the virus. I invite clergy to spread peace and awareness among people and invite them to donate for the needy and protect the homeland at such critical moment of the pandemic.