Saturday,21 October, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1254, (9 - 22 July 2015)
Saturday,21 October, 2017
Issue 1254, (9 - 22 July 2015)

Ahram Weekly

Christian charity during Ramadan

Ramadan in Egypt is a month of faith and charity for all religions, writes Aya Nader

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Al-Ahram Weekly

Lines of iftar tables stretch out in front of the Kasr Al-Dobara Evangelical Church in Tahrir Square every Friday and Saturday evening, while Ramadan and national songs are played from 5:30 to 7 pm.

“We want to spread love and respect with our Muslim brothers, our partners in the nation,” said Guirgis Nady, responsible for the church’s food bank. The food is cooked by a professional chef, and any leftovers are packed and given away to people passing by for free.

Because of the Yemeni crisis, airports in the country have been closed, and some 7,000 Yemenis have been stranded in Egypt this Ramadan. The church has also stepped in to play a positive role by providing 258 bags of rice, oil and other food, each costing LE150, Nady said.

It has also been giving a helping hand to Syrian refugees in Egypt this Ramadan, providing iftar tables every Tuesday for Syrians living in 6 October City.

“As a church, we offer people love and support, especially during crises,” Nady said. The services it provides are led by volunteers, and the money required comes from members of the congregation, including young people.

The Kasr Al-Dobara Evangelical Church was established in 1940, and the idea of a food bank arose during the economic recession in Egypt in the aftermath of the 25 January Revolution.

This is only the third year that the church has organised iftar tables, though Nady says that all churches with large congregations do charitable work as part of their regular activities.

Smaller churches, such as the Al-Malak Michael Church in Sheraton, also offer a helping hand, and groups of young people volunteer to go into the streets after iftar to distribute dates, juice boxes and Ramadan drinks.

Most of the passers-by at this time of the day are taxi drivers who are late for iftar at home, said Christine Emil, a volunteer at the Al-Malak Michael Church.

“I feel so much happiness when I see the smiles on people’s faces,” she added.

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