Few days ago, on Monday 8/11, Egypt celebrated the tenth anniversary of the establishment of the Egyptian Family House under the slogan “Ten Years of Love, Cooperation, Affection and Fraternity: Together We Build Egypt”. His Eminence the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayeb, said: “The Egyptian Family House is the fruit of deep understanding between Al-Azhar and the Egyptian churches, sensing the duty of religious institutions to participate in national efforts to immunize Egypt and the Egyptians against strife.” While His Holiness the Pope Tawadros II, the Pope of Alexandria and the 118th Patriarch of the See of St. Mark said: “The Egyptian FamilyHouse” is a body that works alongside state institutions to preserve societal values and moral traditions, to spread societal peace, defend human rights, achieve justice and affirm citizenship.” Omar Marwan, the Minister of Justice, said the following: “It is one of the most prominent axes of countering terrorism through its tireless efforts on the ground to consolidate the concept of citizenship and call for unity and the renunciation of division.”
The idea of establishing the Egyptian Family House is attributed to the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayeb, it was welcomed by the thrice beatified Pope Shenouda III- the Pope of Alexandria, the 117th Patriarch of the See of St. Mark; His Holiness maintained trust in and love for His Eminence Sheikh Ahmed Al-Tayeb, so he immediately agreed on the idea and participated in establishing the Egyptian Family House. This was in the aftermath of the incident of Our Lady of Salvation Church in Iraq which occurred on 10/31/2010, followed by the attack on the Church of Saints in Alexandria during the first minutes of the beginning of 2011; in order to confront the schemes which were being plotted, aimed at dividing Muslims and Christians in the Middle East region. The establishment of the Egyptian Family House began, incubating representatives of the Christian sects in Egypt, as well as a number of experts and specialists to work on protecting the peace of the homeland. The Grand Imam stated: “Thus, the idea of the Egyptian Family Home sprang from the womb of challenges of great sadness and sorrow, it placed everyone before their responsibilities towards their consciences, homelands and fellow-citizens. The most urgent and most dangerous challenge was the loss of security, peace and societal stability, and the increase in terrorism crimes and its bloody surprises. We were fully aware and convinced that playing on the strings of sectarian strife, if given room, would soon push the country into a sectarian war that will inevitably eat up everything… Al-Azhar and the Egyptian churches at that time sensed the duties shouldered by religious institutions to participate in the national, security and political efforts made by the state to defeat this damned scheme and protect the homeland and citizens from its repercussions that are nurtured and sponsored by external forces in coordination with internal forces. After it has become clear that these forces aim to overthrow Egypt, other large and small Arab countries have fallen into armed civil conflicts, their bad news is still heading the local and international news until this moment.”
Thus, the members of the Egyptian Family House set a goal before their eyes, for which they saved no effort along those ten years: to preserve the one national fabric of the sons of Egypt through a number of axes, the most important of which are: Asserting the supreme values and commonalities among religions, cultures and multiple human civilizations, crystallizing a new discourse that attracts mental involvement in the culture of “peace and the rejection of hatred and violence” by getting to know the other, and laying the foundations for cooperation and coexistence among citizens of the same country. Thus, the Egyptian Family House has worked successfully over the past ten years to instill the values of love, justice, freedom and true citizenship.
The activities of the Egyptian Family House have not ceased along ten years, during an accurate critical stage in the history of Egypt…. The talk about the Egyptian Family House continues… And stories about beautiful Egypt never end!
The General Bishop
Head of the Coptic Orthodox Cultural Center
17 November 2021