Cairo (AsiaNews) - The
news of the beheading of 21 young Egyptian
Copts by the Islamic State
(IS) in Libya has plunged Egypt into sorrow and mourning. The families of
those killed remain prostrate
in a suffering that is even physical, comforted by their communities in prayer. Many Muslims also share in their pain. It is clear, as pointed out by many
thinkers and political leaders that the events resulted in unifying the nation
more strongly. Today, former judge 'Amr 'Abel al-Raziq underlines that the
population is strongly united with the army in any retaliation against the ''barbarian killers' bases'' in
in Egypt in general is strongly shocked by the Jazira TV stating that the
Egyptian air strikes against Daesh in Libya made civilian and children victims.
At this point, everybody around here is happy with the Qatari ambassador's departure
from Cairo, though it is not clear if he was called back by his government or
if he is out of Egypt for more than one month for vacation.
On the other
side the prevailing feeling is one of pride mixed with sorrow mainly for the victim's
families. Pride because the 21 Egyptians seen to have confronted death with
courage as did the multitudinous Egyptian martyrs all along history since
Pharaonic times, through Diocletianus martyrdom and Mamluks cruelty as well as that
of the countries that occupied Egypt for centuries.
every Egyptian, and mainly Coptic ones, have a deeply rooted sense of
martyrdom. Egyptians have been strongly religious for thousands of years and
profound believers. This is even stronger in Upper Egypt and mainly in rural
areas where Christian people have been confronted with many problems for more
than four decades.
For weeks, the
families of the victims have been considered to be ''mourning in remission''
since the pictures of their relatives wearing the orange suit of the people
sentenced to death were published. They protested in front of the press union
building and Saint-Mark cathedral: ''We want our children dead or alive''.
one of the relatives stated last week: "The problem started on the December 31 last
when 7 Egyptians were kidnapped on their way back to the homeland'. On January 3, 13 others were taken. Last
August, 5 other Coptic Egyptians were kidnapped in Libya. The Foreign Ministry
here was only able to deal with Libyan tribe leaders''. Shukry also states that
the families representatives were not allowed to meet with the Prime minister
or the minister of Foreign Affairs, or even the Minya Governor.
and Ibrahim 'Ayyad, each brothers of a victim, stated that all their families
were living a nightmare for two months. The same with Mushrif Fawzy, a father
of a victim. They have all appealed to the United Nations for a clear
intervention as stated by their lawyer, Joseph Malâk.
Ghâly, higoumen from Samallut bishopric, the area where the victims came from in
Middle Egypt in the Minya Province, has been closely following the situation
while Bishop Botros Fahîm, Catholic bishop of Minya declared three days of
prayers and fasting before even learning about the victims brutal murder.
Daoud, 60 years, and his wife have been weeping tears of sorrow for both their
young children Bishoï, 25 years, and Samouïl, 22, two brothers who looked like
twins who never wanted to be separated. Both father and mother were not able to
follow the families to Cairo. They remained in sorrow within their village
while their eldest son, Bashir, a rural farmer, came to Cairo wreaked by his
total incapacity to protect his ''two inseparable brothers that even death will
Monday when news of the awful fate of the victims beheading was confirmed, the
five villages have been plunged into a terrible mourning, as well as Samallout,
Minya, Cairo and all of Egypt. Many families members, unable to bear the
reality, fainted. In the village of Al-'Our, in Samallout, the area where most
of the victims came from, their mothers and wives have suffered terribly from
the shock. Nessim Gabâly, from the village, reports that Sâmeh Salâh Farouq, a widow
passed out for a while holding her one year old baby.
A great number
of the inhabitants have been taken to different hospitals in Samallout
suffering mainly from blood pressure problems or sudden fainting.
Daoud expressed the hope to receive the corpse of his two sons in order to allow
them a proper funeral. This is the same hope for all families, but it will
never be achieved since the assassins threw the bodies into the sea. While
Teresa 'Ateyyât Shehâta, 60, mother of the victim Youssef Shukry Younan stated
that her son was trying to get married and support his two sisters. In Matay,
north of Samallout, Mounir 'Adly Saad collapsed when learning of his son
Paphnutios, the Coptic Orthodox bishop of Samallout decided immediately to
organize prayers and masses for the victims while the neighbours have decided
to put up tents in the village in order to gather the inhabitants and receive
Here are the
names of the victims:
Nagâti Anis 'Abdou, 27 years, married, with a baby of 9 months;
Baddâr Samir Is'hâq, bachelor; both for al-Gabaly village;
Salâh Farouq, married, one child, from Manqariûs village;
Boshra Nassîf, married, with one son of 4 years, from Dafash village;
Mounîr 'Adly Saad, bachelor from Menbâl village;
Shehâta 'Awad, from Al-Farouqeyya village.
And from Al-'Our village:
'Abdal-Massîh Salîb, married, three daughters and one son;
Milâd Sanyût, bachelor;
Youssef Tawadraus, married, three children from 7 to 13 years old;
Boschra Fawzy, bachelor;
Solimân Shehata, married, two daughters and a son;
Fâyez 'Azîz, bachelor;
Alham Wilson, married, three children, 6, 4 and 2 years old;
Stephanos Kâmel, brother of the latter, bachelor;
Abrâm Sanyût, married, three children;
Makîn Zaky, married, one daughter;
'Ayyâd 'Ateyya Shehâta, bachelor;
Samîr Megally Zâkher, bachelor;
Shukry Younân, bachelor;
Farag Ibrâhîm, married, a baby daughter.
(end of Part I)