New release: Laws for Copts by Karima Kamal

Ahram Online, Thursday 5 Apr 2012

Journalist Karima Kamal picks through the contentious issues around personal status for Copts, including in marriage and divorce

Book Cover

Al-Ahwal Al-Shakhseya lil Akbat (Copts personal status laws) by Karima Kamal, Cairo: Nahdet Masr Publishing, 2012.

A new book by journalist Karima Kamal delves into a critical issue for Coptic Christians in Egypt — their personal status before law. The book comes six years after the publication of Kamal's Copts Divorce, that had for the first time brought the question of divorce and marriage into public focus from the shadows. The years between the two books witnessed a widening of the problem of personal status from one that touched Christians alone to one that concerns the whole of Egypt and its unity. Additional factors, like rising sectarian tensions between Christians and Muslims, complicate even further the matter of personal status laws and personal freedoms.

The author tackles the causes and religious basis for divorce among Copts, reviewing relevant texts and legal arguments. The book deals with the case of Kamelia Shehata and Abeer and other ladies who have allegedly converted to Islam to seek divorce. Kamal also tackles the history of church dealings with matters of personal status and the opinions of consecutive Popes, as well as the debate between different Christian sects, including Catholics, Protestants and other denominations.

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