DAYR AL-AHMAR (Giza)
This monastery was mentioned in the beginning of the thirteenth century by ABU SALIH THE ARMENIAN (1895, p. 177), who spoke of a church dedicated to Saint Michael called Dayr al-Ahmar (Red Monastery). He added that it was on the edge of the Nile and that it contained a church dedicated to Saints COSMAS AND DAMIAN. He situated this church at Tamuh. It is probably the same church, given the rarity of the dedication. It was restored at a period earlier than Abu Salih. The author clearly distinguished it from the great synagogue of the Jews, which was also situated at Tamuh.
Unfortunately, the village of Tamuh no longer exists. There is, though, a church of Saints Cosmas and Damian in the region, at Manyal Shihah (Clarke, 1912, p. 205, no. 6). This Dayr al-Ahmar then was at Manyal Shihah. This identification was proposed by J. Muyser (1952, p. 179, n. 15). Ramzi advanced the same hypothesis (1953-1968, Vol. 2, pt. 3, pp. 20-21).
- Clarke, S. Christian Antiquities in the Nile Valley. London, 1912. Muyser, J. “Un ‘Psali’ copte pour la première heure du Samedi de la joie.” Le Muséon 65 (1952):175-84.
- Ramzi, M. Al-Qamus al-Jughrafi lil-Bilad al Misriyyah, 3 vols. Cairo, 1953-1968.
MAURICE MARTIN, S.J