“My name is Sarofim…it’s an angel’s name”
Hani Sarofim is a handsome young Egyptian…from Upper Egypt…a real Egyptian.
I have never met him…
But he is my brother.
If you are Egyptian like us
If you grew up by her great Nile
If you love Egypt's sand and sun
If you smelled the Mediterranean at her Alexandria
Or gazed at the Pyramids at her Giza
Hani is your brother too.
It pains me to tell you; our brother Hani Sarofim was murdered.
Tortured in fact, then his body thrown into the Nile as a sacrifice.
A sacrifice to ignorance and hatred.
Hani Sarofim was just doing his duty to his country. Completing his mandatory service in the armed forces just like any young man his age. But out there in southern Aswan where he was stationed, his superior officer didn’t see that he was like any young man.
Hani is a Copt. He had tattoos of the crucifix and of the Virgin Mother on his arms.
Hani was subjected to humiliation and psychological torture as a result of his faith. He was repeatedly harassed by his superior officer in order to persuade him to convert to Islam.
His sister in law Nessma says that at one time Hani simply answered the officer
“But my name is Sarofim…it’s an angel’s name”
(Translated from a script of an interview with the family)
But his superior had other ideas;
When his leader asked him blatantly to reject Chrisitianity and convert to Islam, Hani refused and told him he would notify the military intelligence. The leader threatened him saying "Ok Hani, I will settle things with you!"
(see the full transcript at lanternix)
Shocking? Disgusting? Unbelievable?
But a reality.
It is a reality that Hani’s precious blood mingled with the water of the great Nile as if to eternally bind him to his Egypt.
It is a reality that his only crime was that he is a proud Copt.
It is a reality that his brutal death will quite likely go unpunished
It is a reality that horrifying as his death is…it isn’t the first. Hani joins a host of similarly proud Copts who chose to bear their crosses to the death.
May the Lord rest your soul my dear brave brother.
Photos of Hani’s body are here
Please note: the images are graphic and extremely disturbing.