Sa‘D Mikha’il ‘Abdu

SA‘D MIKHA’IL ‘ABDU (1831-1892)

An Egyptian administrator. He was a contemporary of Bey in whose administration he worked. In the performance of his duties, he gained direct access to the khedive’s court and was able to receive certain favors for the Coptic community from both Khedive Ismail (1803-1879) and his successor Tewfik (1879-1892).

He was a contemporary of four patriarchs: PETER VII (1809-1852), CYRIL IV (1854-1861), DEMETRIUS II (1862-1870), and CYRIL V (1874-1927). He consulted with them over all outstanding local problems of the day and participated in their solutions. He was responsible for securing the khedivial decree authorizing the construction of the church at Harit al-Saqqayin. He took active part in supporting Cyril IV in his reform movement and in the foundation of Coptic schools.

Later he played a prominent role in the newly established COMMUNITY COUNCIL, where a great dispute was brewing between the V and the council members over the administration of Coptic religious property. Sa‘d stood firm in support of the council whose activities were suspended by the patriarch, whom he antagonized. In the circumstances of that misunderstanding, Sa‘d withdrew from that debate in spite of his position as acting for BOUTROS GHALI, who chaired the meetings. He remained silent on the problems of the community until his death.