The Coptic Evangelical Church (QASR AL-DUBARA)
THE COPTIC EVANGELICAL CHURCH is located on the square of Qasr al-Dubara facing the southern wall of the Mugamma’ building on Midan al-Tahrir in Cairo.
In December 1941 Pastor Ibrahim Sa’id was able to raise funds to buy an old palace with a beautiful garden in the square known today as Midan al-Tahrir in order build a church in the place of that palace. He needed a royal decree that permitted the erection of the church. Ahmed Hussein Pasha, the tutor of King Farouk, had studied in England and lived in the house of Pastor Alexander White, a great preacher, in London. After the death of the latter, his wife made a journey to Egypt. Hussein Pasha accompanied her to meet with Pastor Ibrahim Sa’id and asked the pastor if he could do anything for him. The pastor said to Hussein Pasha, “It would be great if Mrs. White would see the permission of building the church signed by his Majesty the King before she leaves Egypt.” Thus the permission was secured and the church’s foundation stone was laid in December 1947. The building was completed in 1950. When King Farouk saw the church in Cairo’s most important square he was furious for he desired at that time to be regarded as the caliph of the Muslim world after the caliphate had been abolished in Turkey in 1923. Acting as a defender of the prominence of Islam, the king ordered the erection of a huge government building (al-Mugamma’) in front of the church so that it could not be seen from Tahrir Square.
Following the 1952 Revolution and the exile of King Farouk to Italy, President Gamal ‘Abd al-Nasser visited the church at Easter in 1955. Pastor Ibrahim Sa’id welcomed him, thanking him for his visit and saying to him, “King Farouk hated to see one cross of this church, and God sent him to a country where he will see many crosses.”