A 46-year-old Coptic woman, Amal Awad, from Alexandria was repeatedly stabbed in several places in her body as she headed home on the evening 0f 21 August 2017 after attending Vespers service on the eve of the Feast of the Assumption of the Holy Virgin.
As Ms Awad, who lives in the district of al-Hadra in Alexandria, left the church of the Holy Virgin and Archangel Raphael and walked home after the service, she felt someone was following her. In a few minutes she reached the gate to her home, but the man who followed her said “Excuse me” and quickly reached out from the back and held her, clamping his hand on her mouth. He took out a knife and stabbed her repeatedly; the medical report issued by the hospital says she was wounded by the knife in the abdomen, back, and left leg. Ms Amal hit out at him with a bag she was carrying; this made him drop the knife and lean down to catch it, in the process he took his hand off her mouth and she screamed; he stabbed her in the leg then, as people heard her scream and rushed to the rescue, he fled.
Ms Awad was moved to hospital and not available for interviews. Her doctor said her wounds had been treated and she was recovering well, even though she is a breast cancer patient.
++Watani++ talked to Ms Awad’s husband Ishaq Azmy Kiriakos who said that he was home when he heard his wife’s screams from the doorway of the building. He rushed out and found her bleeding heavily, so quickly moved her to hospital. He said his wife had not seen her attacker, but could only tell that he wore a blue shirt, was slightly bald in the head and had a small beard.
The female porter of the adjacent building said that she, too, heard the screams and rushed out. She saw a young man hurrying by, who told her: ‘Go rescue her”, but she could not imagine he was the culprit.
The police are investigating the incident and are looking into the recordings by the CCTV cameras of the church and nearby shops and buildings. The knife used by the attacker was found a few metres from the scene of the crime.
Anba Pavli, Bishop-General of Muntazah Churhces in Alexandria, has visited Ms Awad in hospital. Pope Tawadros called her on the phone to wish her well and prayed for her speedy recovery.
22 August 2017