The churches of old cairo

The churches of old Cairo INTRODUCTION Cairo has been the capital of Egypt for more than one thousand years, but the actual city and history of Cairo are the legacy of many previous capitals of Egypt, of great cultural centers and successive civilizations founded there. The earliest was a predynastic settle­ment dating from the 4th […]

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Christianity in Asyut in Modern History

Christianity in Asyut in Modern History A Historical Introduction By the second half of the eighteenth century, Asyut had taken Girga’s place as the capital of Upper Egypt. With Muhammad ‘Ali’s interest in admin­istratively organizing Egypt’s governorates, the construction of the gover­norate building in Asyut began in 1811. In 1822, Asyut’s population was around seventeen […]

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The History of Christianity in Egypt

The History of Christianity in Egypt THE TERM COPT COMES DIRECTLY FROM THE ARABIC QBT, which appears to derive from the Greek aigyptos (Egypt) / aigyptioi (Egyptians), a phonetic corruption of the ancient Egyptian word Hikaptah, one of the names of Memphis. Initially the word described a non-Arabic-speaking non-Muslim. By implication, a Copt was also […]

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The Franciscan Church of the Assumption (MUSKI)

The Franciscan Church of the Assumption (MUSKI) THE CHURCH IS SITUATED at the end of Darb al-Barabra off Port Said Street in Muski. The history of this church begins in 1632 when Franciscan monks acquired a piece of land outside the ‘Embassy of the Venetians.’ This ‘French Church/ as it came to be known, was […]

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Interior view toward the sanctuary.

The Old Cathedral of St. Mark (AZBAKIYA)

The Old Cathedral of St. Mark (AZBAKIYA) THE CATHEDRAL IS SITUATED on al-Murqusiya Street, Darb al-Wassa’ (Clot Bey). Ibrahim al-Guhari, the famous Coptic official, was able to obtain permission from the Ottoman sultan to build a Coptic church in Azbakiya. Girgis al-Guhari, his brother, oversaw the completion of the church. In the late eighteenth century […]

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Alexandria

ALEXANDRIA Founded in 331 b.c. by Alexander the Great at the western end of the Nile Delta. An Egyptian town, Rakote, already existed there on the shore and was a fishermen’s resort. From its very beginning, Alexandria developed rapidly into one of the world’s great cities. The city replaced Memphis as the capital of Egypt […]

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Waq‘At Al-Kana’is (The Incident Of The Churches)

WAQ‘AT AL-KANA’IS The first demonstration of the presence of widely organized Muslim religious brotherhoods in Egypt and of their deep impact on the populace, which they manipulated in the Mamluk period. On one day in 1321, the populace, incited and led by members of these brotherhoods, destroyed, pillaged, and burned over sixty of the main […]

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Copts And The Crusades

COPTS AND THE CRUSADES To understand the position of the Copts vis-à-vis the movement of the Crusading expeditions from the West against the Muslim Middle Eastern countries, one must go back to the time of the last ecumenical council of CHALCEDON in 451. The reason for this inquiry is to elucidate Coptic feelings toward those […]

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Al-Mufaddal Ibn Abi Al-Fada’il (?-After 1357)

AL-MUFADDAL IBN ABI AL-FADA’IL (?-after 1357) A Historian. Al-Mufaddal ibn Abi al-Fada’il continued the world history of al Makin Jirjis ibn al-‘Amid (who may have been his great-uncle), picking up where al-Makin left off with the accession of the Mamluk sultan Baybars in 1260, and continuing through the death of al-Malik al-Nasir in 1341. It […]

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Al-Makin Jirjis Ibn Al-‘Amid (1205-After 1280)

AL-MAKIN JIRJIS IBN AL-‘AMID (1205-after 1280) A Historian. Al-Makin Jirjis ibn Abi al-Yasir ibn Abi al-Makarim, known as Ibn al-‘Amid, was a Copt of Syrian Orthodox ancestry who, like his father before him, served in high office in the Egyptian military bureaucracy. Such a position carried risks, and al-Makin lived in especially risky times (in […]

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