“I begin my words with wishing you a Merry Christmas. I wish it would be a beautiful year for all of us, and a good year for all of us, good, peace, security, mercy and grace from God – the Almighty.” These are the words with which Mr. President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, the President of the Egyptian Republic, began his felicitations to his Coptic children, on Christmas Eve, during his presence at the Cathedral of the Nativity of Christ in the New Administrative Capital. Since assuming the presidency, Mr. President has been keen to personally offer felicitations, affirming his deep love and fatherhood for all Egyptians.
His Excellency delivered a short speech, with deep meanings and lofty humanitarian principles, aimed at the elevation and edification of our homeland that resides in our hearts all. Today I would like to point out some of these points:
In his speech, Mr. President was concerned with emphasizing the idea of the unity of the Egyptian people: “I am speaking, through this opportunity, to all Egyptians, and I say: We are in Egypt, I mean, we have started a road, a road that we promised our Lord and we pledged to you. We started it together, and God willing, we will complete it together, all of us together.” He addresses “all the Egyptians”; His talk to the Copts is a talk to the Egyptians; all people are the sons of one country: they share its land, share its pains, enjoy its joys, defend it, and work for its sake. Since we started a path to building the homeland, everyone shall participate in the work, and it will only be achieved by the unity of everyone together – as His Excellency mentioned. Yes, the progress and prosperity of societies, and the amount of prosperity they achieve, all depend on unity on one goal, while the individual work and isolation from others do not lead to the realization of the nation’s dreams, hopes, and aspirations, but rather cause the rupture and fragmentation of society. We should realize that a person’s ability to work with others is not just an idea, and a transient situation in his life, but rather a way of life that requires him to be fully convinced of, this one united collective ability expressed by President El-Sisi: “We will complete it together, all of us together.” His Excellency has always emphasized, and always emphasizes, that the strength of the country is the product of the solidarity of its people; so that they can achieve what they aspire to. By working together, we can reach achievements. We can integrate even if our visions, talents, experiences and knowledge are diverse; every citizen participates with a positive role in building the country; as His Excellency stated: “But let me tell you this: The country is ours, our country all, we can all fit in.”
So, Mr. President warned from the danger of strife among the one nation’s people: “Be mindful: I am saying this to all people, all Egyptians, not to certain ones: Beware of someone who interferes among us! Beware of someone who tempts us! Because this will not end!” We cannot deny the forces of evil that seek to break up nations, and if one of their tricks fails, they never give up offering more tricks to break up the single fabric. Many countries were defeated and disintegrated when their children were divided against themselves!
In his speech, President El-Sisi, confirmed the path set before us for the future of our country: “The new republic,” mentioning the features of its strength: “The path of the new republic, which has place for all, has place for all of us, without any difference or discrimination, we live in it in peace and security with each other. It is the republic of dream and hope, the republic of science and work, the republic that is capable and not brute, peaceful and not submissive.” It is the republic that carries in its depth the hopes and dreams we have, the republic that paves the way for work and science, the republic that prevails with the power of justice, being peaceful with all, and does not succumb to the brute forces of evil. The republic of all Egyptians is built with their solidarity, arms and love. So, His Excellency said: “We will build this republic together. Any challenge, any difficulties will be eased if we are always having the heart of one man. We are all together.”
Have a happy peaceful new year, Mr. President. We pray to God to bless our country Egypt with all good and peace, to protect it from all evil and bad, and to support your steps and your work for the sake of the country. And … stories about beautiful Egypt never end!
The General Bishop
Head of the Coptic Orthodox Cultural Center