I would like to wish the Egyptians a happy Eid Al-Adha, wishing our dear country all the best and peace. I would also like to extend congratulations on the launch of the events marking the first conference of one of the largest integrated development projects in Egypt’s modern history: “A Good Life”; which aims to develop the Egyptian countryside; a continuation of the path of the Egyptian nation in its great history, overcoming challenges. The project’s launch document is emphasizing trust in God’s support in the first place, in the capabilities of the nation and in the will of the people. So that, the dream of a good life shall come into real project steps: “Having the assistance of God… Being confident in the capabilities of our dear homeland…believing in the will of our great people in facing challenges…and having certainty that this people deserves a good life that befits the sacrifices they have made, the challenges they have faced, and the difficulties they have endured, so that our Egypt remains dear and proud”. In his speech at the inauguration of the project, President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi announced, “The launch of our greatest national project for the development of the Egyptian countryside, “A Good Life”, through which we seek to raise the standard of living for more than four thousand villages, aiming to achieve sustainable development and to improve the quality of life for nearly 58 million citizens, throughout the next three years.” This good life that began with the will of the people on 30/6/2013, sided with and supported by the Egyptian army: “I now find myself proud of what the Egyptians have achieved. Cries have risen in Egypt’s squares, streets and villages, expressing the will of the Egyptian nation to restore Egypt from those who wanted to violate the sanctity of its land and rob its identity, driven by misconceptions and extremist ideologies. I, besides the Egyptian army which I was honored with assuming its leadership during these tough moments of the nation’s history, was absolutely biased towards the will of this great people.” Thus, this will has turned into steps for the sustainable development of our Egypt.
The “Good Life” project has started an initiative launched by President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi on 2/1/2019, to realize a dream he believed in to develop the lives of Egyptians in all the villages of Egypt, to eliminate poverty, and to alleviate the burdens of citizens, through an integrated plan to raise the level of social, health, educational, economic, housing, and all service sectors in 4,584 Egyptian villages. In his meeting with a group of businessmen, Mr. President highlighted that the state’s primary interest lies in building the Egyptian human being in all aspects, and investing human resources as the engine of progress towards the future that befits Egypt. This huge project comes after a defining phase through which Egypt has been going since 2014, and lasts until today; a phase that focused on structural economic reforms and dealing with many chronic economic problems. Thus, the resources that enabled the state to establish strong bases for a modern and integrated infrastructure were made available, and it was also attractive to investment and business. The state’s success in securing its energy needs of all kinds has played a prominent role in moving steadily towards industrial projects. This was highlighted by His Excellency in his speech about the project’s endeavor to “build the Egyptian in an integrated, healthy, mental and cultural manner, believing that the Egyptian is the treasure of this nation and the icon of its victory and glory. The strong, modern, civil and democratic Egypt is worthy of the expression of their wills and aspirations. It fits their aspirations and represents their sacrifices”. Religions have affirmed that man, for whom the state is working today, maintains a great status with God – Blessed be His name. In Christianity, God created man in His image and according to His likeness in justice, mercy, love… etc. – despite these qualities in man are limited, not absolute as they exist in the nature of God: “Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them”. In Islam, man is the successor of God on the earth: “When your Lord said to the angels, “Indeed, I will make upon the earth a successive authority.” They said, “Will You place upon it one who causes corruption therein and sheds blood, while we declare Your praise and sanctify You?” Allah said, “Indeed, I know that which you do not know.”
From the standpoint of this transcendence in both concepts, the human being has a very great value. God has endowed man with a number of rights, the most important of which are: “life” and “dignity”.
I offer congratulations on the launch of the “Good Life” project. You have renewed, Mr. President, the covenant and the promise: “I make with you a covenant and a promise; I renew them from time to time, that I will remain a son of this country, working for it.” We renew our will to remain united together; for the development of our country, and for the restoration of the position it has held throughout history, trusting in Your Excellency’s word: “We cannot succeed unless we act like the heart of one man.” May God protect Egypt from all evil. And … Stories in beautiful Egypt never end!
The General Bishop
Head of the Coptic Orthodox Cultural Center21 July 2021