During his current pastoral visit to Germany, and following Mass during which he consecrated the church of Archangel Michael in the town of Atelna, Pope Tawadros honoured the world-renown Egyptian-born German construction engineer Hany Azer. The meeting was movingly warm-hearted and appreciative on both sides, with Pope Tawadros expressing great appreciation of Mr Azer’s work with construction of the newly-opened tunnels under the Suez Canal in Egypt.
The Pope presented Mr Azer with a Coptic icon of Archangel Michael.
Hany Azer was born in the mid-Nile Delta town of Tanta in 1948, and graduated from Ain Shams’s Faculty of Engineering in 1973. He then left to Germany to study civil engineering at Bokhom University.
Mr Azer began his career with constructing the Dortmund underground metro tunnel in 1979, and went on to gain a reputation as a legendary tunnel builder; he has constructed almost half the number of tunnels in Berlin.
He was the civil engineer who headed the construction of the tunnel beneath Berlin’s Tiergarten in 1994, after which he was assigned with the near-impossible mission of building Berlin’s train station in record time for the city to host the world cup games. German engineers had refused to work against that deadline which they saw as impossible, but Mr Azer was able to do it.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel honoured him on 26 May 2006, at the inauguration celebration of the Berlin train station, for his efforts and services to Germany, with the Medal of the German Republic. He also received one of Berlin’s most respected distinctions: the Verdienstorden des Landes Berlin (Merit of the State of Berlin), for outstanding service to the State.
In Egypt, he was honoured by President Hosni Mubarak on 1 October 2006. He is today on President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi’s Advisory Council of Egypt’s scientists and experts.
21 May 2019