The Egyptian Family House Conference
Monday، 08 November 2021 - 11:53 PM
Al-Azhar Al-Sharif held on Monday 8/11/2021 a celebration marking the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Egyptian Family House, in the Al-Azhar Conference Hall, in the presence of the Grand Imam, Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayeb, Sheikh of Al-Azhar Al-Sharif, and Pope Tawadros II, Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark.
The ceremony was attended by Counselor Adly Mansour, former President of the Republic, Major General Khaled Abdel Aal, Governor of Cairo, Ambassador Nabila Makram, Minister of Immigration and Egyptians Abroad Affairs, Mr. Mahmoud Sharif, President of the Supervisory Syndicate, Mohamed Abu El-Enein, Undersecretary of the House of Representatives, and Counselor Omar Marwan, Minister of Justice.
About the Egyptian Family House
The idea of the establishment of the Egyptian Family House goes back to the Grand Imam, Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayeb, Sheikh of Al-Azhar Al-Sharif, which was welcomed by His Holiness Pope Shenouda III, Pope of Alexandria, and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark, during the visit of the Al-Azhar delegation headed by the Grand Imam, Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayeb, to His Holiness Pope Shenouda III in January 2011, to offer his condolences to the martyrs of the Church of the Saints. At that time, the Grand Imam, Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayeb, suggested the idea that was welcomed by the Pope. Accordingly Egyptian Family House was established after the Prime Minister’s decision was issued in 2011.
The Egyptian Family House based on the implementation of the highest values and the common grounds among the various religions, cultures and human civilizations, with the crystallization of a new discourse from which a method of moral and intellectual education emerges, in a manner that suits the needs of young people and encourages mental engagement in a culture of peace, rejecting hatred and violence , and laying the foundations for Cooperation and coexistence among the citizens of the same country, as well as monitoring and proposing preventive means to maintain community peace.
Objectives of the Egyptian Family House
The Egyptian Family House was established, headed by the Sheikh of Al-Azhar and the Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church. Its main headquarters is at the Al-Azhar Sheikhdom in Cairo. It comprises representatives of the Christian sects, Al-Azhar scholars in Egypt and a number of experts and specialists, appointing a Secretary-General and an Assistant Secretary-General, with the aim of preserving the one national fabric of the sons of Egypt. In order to achieve this goal, the Family House has to communicate and coordinate with all the relevant bodies and ministries in the country to present its proposals and recommendations, and to hold conferences and meetings in all governorates.
The axes that the Egyptian Family House is implementing are: emphasizing the supreme values and the common grounds among the various religions, cultures and human civilizations, crystallizing a new discourse from which a method of moral and intellectual education emerges, in a manner that suits the needs of young people, and encourages mental engagement in a culture of peace, rejecting hatred and violence, Getting to know the other, laying the foundations for cooperation and coexistence among the citizens of the same country, monitoring and proposing preventive means to maintain community peace.
Sessions of the Egyptian Family House Conference
The conference discusses a number of themes throughout four sessions, including the eminence of the text and its role in supporting community peace, and the impact of citizenship in consolidating coexistence. It also deals with historical situations and a practical application of the most important achievements of the family house, as well as the cooperation between the Egyptian Family House and the World Organization of Al-Azhar Graduates in urging peace. Moreover, it discusses the role of the Egyptian family home in preserving national identity, confronting violence against women and confronting corruption, in addition to discussing the “Together for Egypt” initiative and its role in enhancing intellectual security.
The opening activities of the conference began with a speech by Dr. Mostafa Madbouly, Prime Minister, delivered on his behalf by Dr. Omar Marwan, Minister of Justice, in which he stated that Egypt was and will remain a safe homeland and a blessed people. Allah Almighty said in his Holy Book ‘Qur’an’: "Enter Egypt by God's will in security (free from fear of privation or grief).”Also, the Bible said, “Blessed be the people of Egypt.”
Madbouly added that the attempts of terrorism did not succeed in spreading sedition and isolation among the sons of the country, who are holed up in the army and police, under the leadership of President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, which crystallized by canceling the extension of the state of emergency.
Madbouly pointed out that the Egyptian Family House is one of the most prominent axes of the fight against terrorism, and it consolidates the concept of citizenship, which laid its foundations in Al-Azhar, the symbol of moderation, and the Egyptian church, the symbol of national unity.
Madbouly stressed that the Egyptian Family House sends peace for every Egyptian at home and abroad, pointing out that the president's emphasis on the unity of the Egyptian people is the best guarantee to preserve the stability of the country.
After Madbouly's speech, a documentary film about the Egyptian Family House was screened.
Then Pope Tawadros II, Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark, gave a speech in which he stressed that the nation is united and its members are intertwined.
Tawadros added that God gave us religion for cohesion and cooperation, not for pride.
The Pope of Alexandria, Patriarch of the See of St. St. Mark, continued, saying: "We, as Egyptians, have a homeland with a great historical civilization, beginning with the Pharaonic, Christian and Mediterranean civilizations."
Furthermore, the Pope continued saying: "The Family House works alongside the state to preserve societal values and moral traditions, affirming citizenship. He pointed out that the challenges of this time are great, such as the current pandemic (Covid-19), in addition to natural disasters, such as earthquakes, climate changes, not to mention the impact of Western traditions on our society such as homosexuality. These challenges urge us to cooperate and unite in order to meet them."
The Pope of Alexandria, Patriarch of the See of St. St. Mark, added: “The Family House established the idea of love and understanding the other, besides the meetings that were held with the youth and the newly established branches, which amounted to 17 headquarters."
He continued: "I call for us all to adopt a sound approach to raising awareness and building people, which is based on love of God, love of the nature in which we live, and love of the other human being."
Then the Grand Imam, Prof. Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayeb, Sheikh of Al-Azhar Al-Sharif, delivered the main speech for the celebration of the Egyptian Family House on the 10th anniversary of its founding, expressing his welcome to the conference guests in the honorable Al-Azhar and the Egyptian churches.
The Sheikh of Al-Azhar affirmed that the Egyptian Family House was the fruit of a deep and thoughtful understanding between Al-Azhar and the Church, in which they met in order to fortify Egypt and the Egyptians from the strife that befell the country, and did not only destroy neighbouring countries and societies, but also civilizations rooted in ancient times and claimed the lives of thousands, leaving behind thousands of maimed, widows, orphans, and victims fleeing and displaced from homelands.
The Grand Imam added that Al-Azhar and the Egyptian churches established the family home, sensing the duty of religious institutions to participate in the national, security and political efforts made by the state to defeat this damned scheme, and to protect the homeland as well as citizens from its repercussions that are nurtured and sponsored by external forces in coordination with internal forces. And after it became clear that everyone's goal was the fall of Egypt, while other major and small Arab countries fell into armed civil conflicts, whose bad news is still at the fore in the local and international news until this moment.
In his speech, the Sheikh of Al-Azhar cut off the doubts that arose to cause a confusion between the brotherhood of Islam and Christianity in defending the right of the Egyptian citizen to live in security, peace and stability on one hand, and the mixing of these two religions, and the dissolution of the differences between them; especially in light of the trends that claim that there can be one religion called - “Abrahamic” - or the Abrahamic religion. These calls seem to aspire to mix udaism, Christianity and Islam in one message or one religion upon which people are united to save them from the scourge of disputes and conflicts that lead to the loss of lives, bloodshed and armed wars between people, even between the sons of the same religion and the believers of one faith.
The Sheikh of Al-Azhar said that this case is just like the case of globalization, the end of history, “global ethics” and others, although it superficially appears as a call to human society and its unification and the elimination of the causes of its conflicts and struggles. However, it is itself a call to confiscate the most precious possessions of humankind, which is: “freedom of belief” and freedom of choice, which are guaranteed by religions, and emphasized in clear texts. In other words, this call includes pipe dreams much more than proper recognition of the facts and their natures.
His eminence added: “And out of our belief in our heavenly messages - we believe that the gathering of people upon one religion or one divine message is impossible in the nature of people that God created, and how not, and people differ radically, in their colors, beliefs, minds and languages, even in their finger and eye prints. This is a historical and scientific fact, and before that it is a Qur’anic fact confirmed by the Noble Qur’an, stipulating that God created people to be different, and that if He wanted to create them according to one creed, one color, one language, or one perception, He would have acted.
"The Role of Religions in Promoting Peace" Session
Ambassador Nabila Makram, Minister of State for Immigration and Egyptians Abroad Affairs, and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Egyptian Family House, participated in a session entitled "The Role of Religions in Promoting Peace", in which she expressed her happiness to participate in the celebrations of the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Egyptian Family House, stressing that the Family House, when thinking about it, brings to our mind the house in which the elders of the family live.
She continued: "We also have the head of the family, His Excellency President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, President of the Republic, who always confirms that this country is a cohesive nation, and without this cohesion, this country would not have been able to address all the challenges it faced. The elders of our family are the Grand Imam, Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayeb, the Sheikh of Al-Azhar, and His Holiness Pope Tawadros, Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St. Mark, and we have all respect and love for them. . She pointed out that among the wars that the state is facing is targeting our religious leaders, noting that in the Family House there are our children and youth, and it is important that the true image be conveyed to them as well as true coexistence so that the Family House keeps going on.
Ambassador Nabila Makram explained that the Ministry of Immigration worked to organize forums for Egyptians abroad of the second and third generations, and during these forums we are keen to organize a meeting for them with the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar and His Holiness the Pope, where our children abroad must know and learn from how we coexist with each other in Egypt, noting that the grand scene where His Holiness, the Pope inaugurated the Al-Fattah Al-Alim Mosque; while the Grand Imam, Sheikh of Al-Azhar inaugurated the Cathedral of the Nativity of Christ in the Administrative Capital , is a clear message for the Family House in which we live. We have, also, never seen a President of the Republic visiting the cathedral in the celebration of Christmas, as the President did. All these scenes make the Family House continue.
The Minister of Immigration reviewed the incident, in which she met a girl by chance and who was living in Italy, and her mother died when she was 4 years old , and a complaint from the girl’s family reached the Egyptian Consulate. At that time, Ambassador Nabila Makram began her work at the Egyptian Consulate as a legal representative for the family, looking for the girl until the Egyptian embassy actually received her. The minister pointed out that when she met her in Egypt and she had become an old girl, she contacted the Grand Imam and explained to him the circumstances of that girl to support her, who in turn ordered the payment of a monthly allowance to the girl to continue her life without asking about who she is and what her religion is. In this situation, the head of the family was referred to.
the Minister of Immigration added saying: “During the crisis of the Egyptians stranded abroad due to the Corona pandemic, there were calls for help from Egyptians stranded in the State of Kenya, and I immediately contacted His Holiness the Pope, who issued directives to the Egyptian Church there to host the stranded, and they were hosted for 3 weeks and it was during the month of Ramadan, so all meals were prepared, including suhoor, iftar, and Egyptian sweets, to provide a spiritual environment for the stranded. These are the elders of the family.
In her speech, the Minister went on to say that the great national project "A Decent Life" is a vivid example of the interest of the head of the family, President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, to care for all Egyptian citizens and improve the quality of life for them, adding that the Ministry of Immigration works with the Foundation for a Decent Life, as well as with the Episcopal Services of the Orthodox Church. We work without discrimination to serve our people in the most needy villages.
Ambassador Nabila Makram explained that among the problems received at the Ministry of Immigration is a problem that has spread through social media for a divorce case of a woman abroad and after her death the children cannot return home because of the travel ban issued by the father, pointing out that she contacted the family to meet them personally and asked the Grand Imam Sheikh Al-Azhar to provide a representative of the sheikhdom of Al-Azhar to attend her meeting with the husband’s family, and in turn, his eminence issued directives to the presence of 3 sheikhs from the Family Reunification Unit in Al-Azhar Al-Sharif to attend the meeting, which lasted for two hours, to persuade the husband’s father to abandon the travel ban in the interest of the children. All these efforts are carried out within the framework of the Family House.
Announcing the launch of an initiative entitled "Good Offspring".
The Minister of Immigration concluded her speech by announcing the launch of an initiative entitled “Good Offspring” in cooperation with the Family Reunification Unit in Al-Azhar Al-Sharif to preserve our children abroad from marital and family disputes, noting that our children abroad who are exposed to these problems must be protected, saying: “We are building our country.” And we support our children so that they know that their family home is growing and protecting them.”