Coptic Patriarchy in Alexandria holds memorial service

Mohamed Abdelfattah, Sunday 9 Jan 2011

Representatives from across the political spectrum among those attending the church service

Alexandira mass
Photo by Mohamed Abdelfattah

The Coptic Orthodox Patriarchy in Alexandria held a memorial service on Saturday for official and non-official delegations to offer their condolences for victims of last week’s church blast.

Government officials, opposition figures and foreign consuls attended the mass.

The British Consul General in Alexandria, Marie-Louise Archer, was among those present at the service.

“I’ve come here this evening both in the personal capacity and as the British consul general to pay my respects after what has happened and to offer all our sympathies and thoughts to the families of the victims,” Archer told Ahram Online.

Having spoken to members of the government, she believes they are “doing everything they can to find the perpetrators."

Representatives from the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s largest Islamist movement, were also present.

“This was a horrible and criminal act and constitutes a crime against humanity,” said Osama Gado, a former Brotherhood parliamentarian in Alexandria.

Former presidential candidate Ayman Nour joined the mourners and says the reception was wonderful and the church always “keeps its doors open to all Egyptians.”

“I can see the atmosphere of the 1919 revolution. This awareness which grows increasingly is part of a true enlightenment movement which has to develop,” Nour told Ahram Online.

The 1919 revolution, a mass uprising against the British occupation of Egypt and Sudan, is often taken as a symbol of national unity in Egypt. The revolution was triggered by the exile of Egyptian leader Saad Zaghloul by the British and lead to the country's independence in 1922.


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