“Cover Your Hair!”

Basma ran home to her mother crying. On her way back from school, she ran into two bearded men who shouted: “Cover your hair,” attached to other things I can’t mention here.

This wasn’t the first time Basma got intimidated going to school.  So, her mother tried a quick fix.

She dressed Basma in isdal, an Islamic garb, which covered her from head to toe.

When the Volunteer Rep couldn’t convince Basma’s mother to change course, he went to the priest. The priest told him: “Most of the families in my parish are doing the same thing.”

Safety has become the obsession of many in Egypt. But if Coptic women start dressing in Islamic attire because they are afraid, what other pressures will fear lead us to accept?

Many fear that Islamists in Egypt will bring the country back to the Dark Ages. We can’t do much about Islamist movements, but we can do something about safety.

I remember back in September, His Grace Bishop Angaelos said that the thing really driving today’s radical trend in Egypt is basic insecurity on the streets: lack of access to food, fuel, safe transportation, good education and appropriate housing.

Our volunteer Reps—90% of our total workforce, work every day to get families that kind of access.

Your support to families like Basma’s is a power that can never be smothered by fear or endangered by changing seasons.

About Nermien Riad

Nermien Riad founded Coptic Orphans in 1988 after volunteering for an orphanage in Cairo. When she saw that most of the children had living widowed mothers who simply couldn't afford to feed them, she gathered family and friends to sponsor children in Egypt. Today Coptic Orphans works through a network of 400+ church-based volunteers in Egypt, who visit fatherless families in their homes and make sure they get everything they need to unlock their full potential. That way, they don't have to get married off as child brides, work as 10-year old family breadwinners, or go to live at an institutional orphanage.