As fighting in the Holy Land resumes today (December 1) after the seven-day ceasefire expired, SAT-7 Egypt’s Mary Joseph explains how her homeland, which borders the territory, is responding to the conflict, and helping to save the lives of those severely injured and in need of aid. She also shares how the Egyptian Church is being a voice for peace and compassion as tensions rise.
The war in Gaza came on the heels of the recent Sudanese conflict that caused a flow of Sudanese families seeking refuge in Egypt with only the clothes on their backs.
Egypt happens to be surrounded by countries torn by war and has been a safe haven for refugees from all of them, including Sudan, Syria, Yemen, Libya, and now Gaza.
SAT-7’s You Are Not Alone interviewed one of the refugees who came into Egypt last week with his critically injured four-year-old daughter, who needed life-saving treatment.
Adam Al Madhoun, from Gaza, had moved several times from one shelter to another from the north of Gaza to the south. After their latest move, their house was struck. His father-in-law was killed and several members of his family were injured – his daughter, Kanzy, the most critically. Her arm was amputated, and she had fractures to her skull, hip and leg. A month later, they got permission for treatment in Egypt.
“Our journey was long and difficult. We waited for 24 hours at the border gates,” Adam said. “She will need surgery on her head, on her hip and on her leg. She needs health care and medical attention that was not available in Gaza. There’s shortage in medical supplies that are needed for such surgeries. Our arrival to Egypt was largely to save our injured family members. Kanzy is awake and is able to talk but she is in great pain. She cannot move. We are now at the hospital for her treatment.”
Egypt has had a crucial role to play in recent developments in the Holy Land conflict because of its position south of Gaza and the strategic Rafah crossing point. Over the last week, it has been helping to facilitate the release of hostages. Before that, the Egyptian government allowed premature babies to come into Egypt for treatment, and ambulances are lined up at the borders to transport the injured to the hospitals.
In addition to sending its own trucks of humanitarian aid and medical supplies, Egypt allowed humanitarian aid to pass through from countries such as Jordan, France, and the USA. Trucks filled with provisions were at the Rafah crossing awaiting permission to open the gates and deliver these essential items to the people in need. Egypt has facilitated delivery of more than 25,000 tons of aid to Gaza since the start of the war.
FEARS IN EGYPT
None of the recent wars in the Middle East has caused a stir in the Egyptian community and media more than the Holy Land war, for two main reasons.
Firstly, as Egypt borders Gaza and has a history of wars with Israel, a fear of losing our land as a cost of this war has seized the majority of Egyptians. But the government came out with statements insisting on the sovereignty of Egyptian land and the importance of finding a peaceful solution between the two warring parties in the Holy Land.
Secondly, a wave of religion-based division started to spread among the people in Egypt, with some for one side in the conflict and some for the other.
VOICE OF THE CHURCH
Christian leaders, though, went out to explain through several media outlets that the Church supports victims regardless of their religion and is with the innocent whose blood is being shed without mercy.
Many Christian writers have expressed their concern over the loss of life in the war and called for peace and a stop to the bloodshed among innocent children.
Medhat Bishai, an Egyptian Christian writer, explains in his blog how the two parties at war are using religion to instigate more violence. Coptic Orthodox Bishop Moussa wrote in an opinion piece how Christians in Egypt understand the value of one’s own country and are against the killing and forced displacement of citizens.
Egyptian pastors are preaching from the pulpit against the violence happening in the Holy Land and praying for peace in the region and the protection of residents. SAT-7 is continuing to encourage viewers to engage in prayer for the situation through weekly live programs.
With either war or political unrest across every part of the Egyptian border, in addition to our own struggles because of the devaluation of the Egyptian pound and the rise in price of essential food items, Egyptians are feeling strained.
But the church continues to support the community through it all with prayers and encouragement to continue in faith. After all, the Lord promised in Isaiah to bless Egypt, “Blessed be Egypt, my people” (Isaiah 19:25), and the Lord Jesus came here Himself – “out of Egypt I called my son” (Hosea 11:1; Matthew 2:14-15). This is our faith: that Egypt will continue, despite everything, to be light in the middle of darkness and that Christians in this country will witness to others in both Egypt and the wider region.
Would you pause and pray for the following?
- For the end of the Holy Land war to come, that peace will be poured out on all the affected regions
- For the safety of everyone involved, and for physical, emotional, and spiritual healing