Violence in Egypt hits close to home for some Valley residents

August 18, 2013 3:33:14 PM PDT
The violence in Egypt hits close to home for many people in the Valley who have family members living in cities where protests are taking place.

People sang in Coptic, Arabic and English at a Sunday service at Archangels Michael and Gabriel Coptic Orthodox Church in Fresno, a place for Christian Egyptians to gather and pray. In the past weeks, their prayers have been with family overseas.

"My grandma is still there and my uncles and my aunts. It gives you that unwell feeling of uncertainty, what's the next day going to be like," George Mikhail a church member said.

Mikhail wonders what happened a year ago, when Egypt held its first democratic election, making Mohamed Morsi president.

"At that state of our revolution we just wanted to get better and we hoped that he can fill those shoes and give everyone the democracy they wanted," Mikhail said.

That didn't happen. Morsi was ousted at the end of June giving way to protests and turmoil on the streets.

"There's a lot poor people, there is hunger, there is starving people every day. It needs to change to a real democracy," Samir Awad a church member said.

Some church members like Yvette Gabriel call the protestors on the streets of Egypt terrorists.

"We are standing the behind the Egyptian army because they are taking the right direction," Gabriel said.

Earlier this week protestors began attacking Christian churches in Egypt, accusing the Christian community of siding with the military. That is why Gabriel fears for her family in Cairo.

"There is gun shooting over there. They heard gun shooting over there and they are closing their balconies they don't go out after seven," Gabriel said. "The Muslim Brotherhood who are pro-Morsi, they are burning a lot of Christian houses and each one in my family are afraid this might happen to them."


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