Pope Tawadros II has opened four community service projects owned and operated by the Coptic Orthodox Church and financed by the United Arab Emirates. Present at the inauguration ceremony were Minister of International Cooperation Sahar Nasr, Emirati Minister of State Sultan Ahmed Gaber who also heads the coordination office for Emirati development projects in Egypt, and the charge d’affaires of the UAE embassy in Cairo Khalifa Seif al-Teneiji.
The projects opened include a centre for Egyptian Coptic art heritage at the satellite town of al-Obour east of Cairo, and the equipping and finishing of al-Shifaa’ Hospital in Medinet al-Salam, another eastern Cairo satellite town. They also include a Coptic Orthodox school for special education in Minya, Upper Egypt; and the upgrading of Mar-Mina orphanage in Fayed, Ismailiya.
The official opening ceremony was held at the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate in Abassiya, Cairo, where Pope Tawadros received his guests and led them through a photo gallery that hosted a display of pictures of the four projects, and where they were treated to a detailed description of each project.
The Egyptian Coptic art heritage centre has been established as a 2313sq.m. two-storey building over a 5-feddan piece of land. It includes a large 440sq.m. theatre, and has been fully equipped to act as a preserver of heritage and provider of cultural and teaching services.
The Coptic Orthodox school is equipped to host 560 boys and girls in 14 classes that span nursery, primary, and preparatory stages of education. It will cater to children with special needs.
Al-Sifaa’ Hospital is built over 3200sq.m. to serve some 10,000 patients, especially those living in the underprivileged neighbourhood in which the hospital has been built.
The Mar-Mina orphanage in Fayed is 600sq.m. wide and includes 35 rooms for the accommodation of orphans, as well as four large study halls. It was opened in December 2014 and already serves 104 students till they graduate from university.
Following the official opening ceremony, the Pope and his guests headed to the Egyptian Coptic art heritage centre in Obour where they cut the ribbon to mark its official inauguration. Pope Tawadros gave a word in which he heartily thanked the UAE for their support of the Egyptian people, especially “in times of need”. Hard times, the Pope said, show the real mettle of a person, and the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahayan has always loved Egypt and helped her generously. “Egyptians, for their part,” the Pope said, “have returned this love and will never forget this great man.”
Dr Nasr profusely thanked the UAE for their contribution to Egypt and her people in all areas. For his part, Dr Gaber said that the UAE believes in openness, dialogue, and positive cooperation especially in projects that contribute to the building of the individual.
31 January 2016