Helping the persecuted Christians in the garbage district of Cairo and in the Wadi Natron
In February, I took a trip to Egypt to help the Coptic Christians living there in extreme need and distress. In addition, medical devices and medicines valued at EUR 15,000 were supplied by Medeor Hilfswerk, a non-profit medical aid organization.
After I had been picked up at the airport in Cairo from people of our organization I spent the night in a hotel in Cairo. The following day I visited the Cairo district of Al Mukkatam, the so-called garbage district, where 74,000 Coptic Christians are living.
Most of the people had been expelled from Upper Egypt and are now living in a relative safety in the capital. In winter, the smell of the garbage is not as penetrating as in the summer (I already reported about the conditions there in my travel report of 2016) but nevertheless the smell is unpleasant and extreme.
Our local chairman, Dr. Samuel, takes care of the poor. We support the families financially, give medical help to people who are sick or old, and distribute bread daily. One of our projects is the so-called “Marriage Project”, which gives girls of marriageable age a gift of 300 euros so they will not be abducted and raped by Islamists. Another project is the distribution of school material to the children in the rubbish district. My thanks at this point to the numerous donors.
Next stop of my trip was a place in the desert – the location of which I do not want to describe further for security reasons. Here I met Coptic Pope Tervadoros and hundreds of monks who participated in a spiritual monastic congress. These monks came from all over Egypt and I trusted them to distribute money to the needy throughout the country.
On the 17th, I arrived at Wadi Natron in the desert to help the poorest of the poor. The families were expelled from Islamic villages and are, so to speak, homeless. Although the Christians are satisfied with the political course of President Sisi, they are still oppressed and persecuted in their villages by followers of the Muslimbrotherhood. The Muslims want to get rid of the Christian families in their midst and slander and bully them until they leave the village. Every day Christian girls are being kidnapped and abused on their way to school, or undergo a female genital mutilation forced upon them by Muslim women. In the Wadi we are now building houses for these families.
On the trip I could help more than 12,000 people directly! The donations are going directly to the needy, they do not seep in complicated organizational structures.
A short story on the edge: When I boarded the plane to Egypt and sat down on the assigned space, an Egyptian took his seat next to mine. At first he could not recognize that I was a Christian nun, we were talking in English. When he noticed to his horror that I was carrying a cross, he immediately complained to the flight attendants and asked for another seat because I was ‘unclean’. Since the booked aircraft had only seats in the first class, he had to pay a hefty surcharge. No tolerance for Christians by Muslims – sad.