Different artistic performances were held on Saturday, 29 October, at the Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Abbasiya, near Downtown Cairo, to commemorate the martyrs killed in a bloody night of violence on 9 October. The deaths occurred when military police clashed with mostly Coptic Christian protesters around the Maspero State TV building.
The evening’s performances, infused with Coptic anger at the Maspero massacre, varied from poetry, singing, pantomime, monodrama and a theatrical performance titled Sarkhet Wadaa (A Goodbye Cry).
Two paintings by an artist called Joseph were displayed, one depicting the blood spilled at the massacre and the other depicting Jesus, with his arms wide open to the martyrs.
The item that received the most applause and attention was by Maikel Romany, who through painting with sand told the story of the Maspero Black Sunday, when army vehicles ran over protesters in a peaceful march. His performance also included the heart-wrenching story of the martyr Maikel Mossad and his fiancée.
Families of martyrs as well as injured people attended the performance, along with a number of artists, intellectuals and media figures.
In his speech, Bishop Moussa, who organised the event, thanked the Minister of Culture Emad Abou Ghazi for attending the event and for offering help preparing for it, adding that the Salam Theatre in Garden City has been offered for 10 days to host this performance.
Abou Ghazi then commended the performance, which he said has expressed the tragedy in a creative way, and added that Egyptians should stand together to build the civic nation that they seek.
The actor Mahmoud Yassin expressed his awe with his performance. “Our youth have a lot of creative energy. These are youth that need freedom so that Egypt can move forward. They reclaim Egypt’s identity which is: Egypt for all Egyptians.”
The actor and theatre director Mohamed Abou Dawood also expressed his appreciation for the event and said that in order to solve the sectarian problem in Egypt, one has to have solutions that tackle the core of the issue.
The media figure Fatma Naout was highly moved by the performance. “I hope everyone learns how to love from you. Despite everything that is happening to Copts in Egypt, the love still fills their hearts,” she said, teary-eyed.