Reda Nassif, Coptic MP for Beheira, west of the Nile Delta, has submitted a request to Prime Minister Sherif Ismail that the government should contribute to the cost of repair and renovation of the Western Desert monasteries that incurred severe damages on account of the torrential rains last October. Several MPs collaborated with MP Nassif and signed the request.
October 2015 saw a wave of exceptionally cold weather and torrential rains hit the northern part of Egypt and the Delta. The 4th century monasteries in the Western Desert—the Surian Monastery, Anba Bishoi’s, and al-Baramos’s—which lie on low ground were hit hard. The old churches and monk cells, as well as the fields and farms which provide livelihood for the monks, were severely damaged.
The government, MP Nassif said, did not aid the monasteries in the repair and renovation works; the Church has handled everything single-handedly through donations. But even though the urgent repairs have been done, a lot more is waiting.
The monasteries being Egyptian heritage, the Ministry of Antiquities oversees the renovation work but, so far, the government has done nothing towards contributing in the huge expense involved.
26 February 2016