A bridge on the outskirts of the village of Beni Qura in Qoussiya, Assiut, some 350km south of Cairo, has been named after the Coptic soldier Abanoub Nageh Marzouq Attiya who was killed in a Daesh terror attack on 5 June 2019.
The attack, which was waged by Daesh—also known as Islamic State, IS—terrorists in the dawn hours of Eid al-Fitr, the feast that comes at the end of the Muslim Holy month of Ramadan, claimed the lives of eight police personnel and five terrorists.
Attiya was given a military funeral at Assiut Airport, then moved to his home village of Beni-Qura for a funeral service at the village church, and burial.
Assiut Governor Gamal Noureddin offered his condolence Attiya’s family, and promised to name a school in Beni Qura after him. However, this could not be done because of severe objections by the village Muslims that a school would bear such a flagrantly Coptic name as “Abanoub”. The Governor thus decided to name the bridge that leads to Beni Qura after Abanoub Nageh Attiya, in recognition of his sacrificing his life to Egypt.
A ceremony was held on 15 June to place a sign on the bridge, bearing the new name: Abanoub The Martyr Bridge. Attending on behalf of the Governor was Nabil al-Teiby, Secretary-General of Assiut Governorate, as well as a number of officials, Coptic and Muslim clergy, and Abanoub’s family members.
This was not the first time that Muslim villagers or townspeople refuse to have a school named after a Copt. In 2015, it was not possible to name a preparatory school in al-Maragha, Sohag, some 450km south of Cairo after the Coptic martyr Abanoub Kamal Lamei.
17 June 2019