الأحد، أبريل ٢٣، ٢٠٠٦

And on the Last Day of Easter My True Love Gave to Me...

Eternal life
An open door to Heaven
Victory over sin and death!!

And what beautiful gifts they are.

Aside from the day long prayer service on Good Friday, the Easter celebration on the Saturday night is an absolute must experience. My favourite moment takes place immediately before the mass starts.

All church lights are turned off, and a hush falls on the crowd (and believe me that is one huge achievement for a crowd of Egyptians!) The priest recites a verse from Psalm 24 in a beautiful traditional Coptic tune:

7Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.

Deacon replies:

8Who is this King of glory?

LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle.

and then again:
9Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.

10Who is this King of glory?

LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory

At this, the lights go on, the bells toll and the priest, deacon and people raise their voices in unison to praise God and announce the Resurresction of our Lord. It's a wonderful, joyful and emotional moment.

Christos Anesti! Alithous Anesti!
Happy Easter to all Eastern Orthodox brothers and sisters.


Blogger Egypeter said...

Hey Neferteeti.

You are absolutley right, what a beautiful part of the service. Actually, one of many many beautiful moments during the Liturgy.

Ikhiristos Anisti, Neferteeti.

Happy Easter to you and all of your family. Kolo sana wa intee tayiba ya bent! God bless.


And do you have an email address?

أبريل ٢٤, ٢٠٠٦  
Anonymous Red said...

Christos Anesti. Alethos Anesti.

Please remember our brothers and sisters in Egypt in your Easter celebrations. And ALWAYS

أبريل ٢٤, ٢٠٠٦  
Blogger Bent El Neel said...

Hi Pete
Good to hear from you as always. Kol Sana wenta tayeb Pete, Alithos Anesti.

My email is


Hope to hear from you soon :)

أبريل ٢٤, ٢٠٠٦  
Blogger Bent El Neel said...

Glad you're still visiting me :) Happy Easter to you too.

Red, you never need to remind me of my Coptic family. Believe me, and no matter how far I am or how long I stay away, the words of Pope Shenouda always ring true:
Egypt is not a home we live in, it is a home that lives within us.

We always remember our Coptic family. But recently alot of Copts from Egypt have been saying to us "please stop speaking up. You're making it worse for us"

I don't klnow what to do Red!!! We don't want to make it worse but we can't stand and watch our peoploe and churches getting attacked either. what do we do?

Check this blog and it will express what we're all feeling.

أبريل ٢٤, ٢٠٠٦  
Anonymous غير معرف said...

Happy Easter! He has risen indeed.

أبريل ٢٤, ٢٠٠٦  
Blogger طبيب نفسي said...

أزال أحد مشرفي المدونة هذا التعليق.

أبريل ٢٥, ٢٠٠٦  
Blogger طبيب نفسي said...

Happy Easter to our beloved Egyptian copts...the cornerstone of Egyptian heritage.

أبريل ٢٥, ٢٠٠٦  
Blogger ooze addai said...

Ikhiristos Anesti. Alithos Anisti.

أبريل ٢٥, ٢٠٠٦  
Anonymous Red said...

Bent el neel said “ .... recently alot of Copts from Egypt have been saying to us "please stop speaking up. You're making it worse for us"

I don't klnow what to do Red!!! We don't want to make it worse but we can't stand and watch our peoploe and churches getting attacked either. what do we do?”

Bent el neel, I don’t believe that our Coptic brothers and sisters in Egypt are asking us to stop speaking up (for them) but rather asking us to speak up DIFFERENTLY, and smartly, I might add, which we can and should always do.
I might be stating the obvious in saying that there are no short cuts to undo what has taken place over generations, but I am sure that one way to alienate those Egyptian Muslims willing to listen and lend support to the Copts’ just cause is to demean and insult Muslims’ beliefs placing them in such an unenviable and possibly untenable position with the Muslim population, and whilst one may totally disagree with some of those beliefs, avoiding such “confrontational” situation should be paramount in our minds adding positives to our approach as well as depriving the Muslim fanatics of their usual clichés of blaming the “Expat Copts” for all and sundry!!

أبريل ٢٥, ٢٠٠٦  
Blogger xavier said...

If the Copts in the home country are pleading to stop speaking. I suggest that the Copts of the disasporia look to Pius XII's actions during WW II when he condemned the Holocaust. He might be a helpful guide in similarly ambiguous circumstances.
Red is quite right, Copts have to speak up differently- show the flagrant violations. How is it that the Moslems in othr parts of the world can practice Islam in peace and even have foreign money to build huge mosques but the Copts and other Christians can't even fix a door without permission which never comes?



أبريل ٢٦, ٢٠٠٦  
Blogger Bent El Neel said...


i couldn't have said it better. you pretty much hit the nail on the head.

I just want to tell u that those confrentations about beliefs usually start when you speak about the Coptic issue.

If you are refering by your comment to my discussion with Mohammed, I'd like to clarify two things:
- It was never my intention to get into a religious debate. The discussion took this course as a result of the inability of the Egytian mind to separate religion from anything else in life. I said Copts are oppressed, he said your religion is a fake!

- I am not in this debate to challenge his beliefs, I am just responding to his challenges to mine. It doesn't concern me right now what anyone believes or worships...the safety and security of Egypt for all Egyptians is important, the suffering of my Coptic family is important.

It seems you can't talk about this issue without someone jumping in and saying "you just say that because you hate Islam!"

I absolutely agree about speaking smarter...I just get discouraged that there's nobody to listen sometimes.

أبريل ٢٦, ٢٠٠٦  
Blogger Bent El Neel said...

Ooze, Xavier and Jack
Thanks for the kins words and the comments.

طبيب نفسي
good to see u here

أبريل ٢٦, ٢٠٠٦  
Anonymous Red said...

I would like to share the following with everyone.

The Oppressed Copts

Fighting discrimination of minorities, civilized societies continuously search for and implement anti-discrimination measures with education, national programs such as “Affirmative Action”, and by establishing agencies and enacting laws to deal with racial, religious, gender and other forms of vilification in an ongoing battle against discrimination. Backward societies, however, particularly those where Islam is the dominant religion, struggle to consider, let alone implement, any such measures for a variety of reasons that primarily include the sinister influence of the religion of Islam, where discrimination and inequality are codified in its books and throughout its teachings and where Ulamas and Mullahs are ever-willing to issue fatawas and edicts (sometimes conflicting) to enforce its doctrines and punish those who dare propose measures that lessen their grip on Muslims, and as a result, those in power in those societies always seem reluctant, even resistant, to pursuing meaningful measures, resorting instead to clichés and hollow slogans to give the appearance of doing something while actually very little or nothing at all is done and which often send sinister signals through the populace that actually fuel discrimination rather than eliminate it.
Egypt is the glaring example where over the centuries oppression and discrimination became a way of life, manifested in various forms ranging from pronounced “social classes”, northern and southern Egyptians, the “ruling” class and those ruled, colour, gender and religious oppression where Copts are effectively viewed and treated as second class citizens in their own country.
Oppression and discrimination against the Copts in Egypt is not dissimilar to that of the natives in the new worlds, the Americas and Australasia, with one main difference, that the newcomers to the new worlds eventually attempted and continued to actively pursue ways of rectifying their ancestors misdeeds whilst their counterparts in Egypt, 1400 years after the Arab hordes invaded Egypt "supposedly" bringing their Islam with them, do what they have perfected over the centuries, discriminate and pretend that all is fine. Such discrimination, always religion-based, reinforced by the notion of the “numerical” minority the Copts assumed after the forceful conversion to Islam by a considerable number of Egyptians unable or unwilling to meet the “Jizya” imposed on them by the invading Muslims, is farther corrupting an already corrupted political and social structure and, I believe, is continuing to destroy the foundation of a country that was once the greatest civilization on earth.
If one is to argue that Islamic extremism and fanaticism are the face of political Islam and that Islam is more of a political movement, then all people opposed to such political movement ought to join in the efforts to confront and defeat such a sinister evil movement, debunking the notion that all Muslims are members of such religion-cum-political movement and emphasising that the political Islamists deliberately blur the lines between the religion and politics to serve their own cause using it to recruit more of the unsuspecting religious Egyptian and using the simple charge “anti-Islam” to stifle and oppress any dissent or opposition to Islamists, not too dissimilar to the anti-Semitic charges used with great success by the world-wide Jewish lobby.
This challenge must be taken now before the fabric of the Egyptian society is irreparably damaged. Such movement will be accused with all sorts of accusations ranging from heresy to treason, but that’s the challenge it must endure to establish itself as the true Egyptian spirit with the religion retreating back to where it belongs, in people’s hearts, minds, mosques and churches- Not much different from what the Egyptian military was asked to do in 1950’s, and look at the damage that happened to our beloved Egypt when they did not heed the call

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