"I went to the bakery to buy bread for the whole family, when I returned there was nobody. They told me your family members have gone and left you behind. I said ‘but Our Lord never leaves us.’" With these words, Samiha started her interview with Ahram Gate, inside one of the poor dwellings of Dahshur village.
Seventy-year old Samiha is the only Christian currently present in the village of Dahshur; she had no knowledge of the fight or sectarian conflicts that took place in the village. When she came back with the bread she bought, she found herself alone, and all the houses of Christian families in "Darb Al Nassara" i.e. "Christians' Pathway,” and other parts of the village, are closed, and her family had left her behind.
The old lady was unable to make out what exactly happened, especially after a group of young people broke into her house at night, smashing the door and causing her to panic and hide in the cattle barn, to get away with her life… "Those were hard moments" she said "and life is not valueless, my children."
Samiha stayed in the barn until one of her Muslim neighbors in Darb Al Nassara, Mohamed Al-Akeer, came and got her out and told her she was safe. She now sleeps every night next to a Muslim lady, who lives in Al-Akeer's house, called Umm Mohamed. During the day, Samiha stays inside her house whose doors are broken, looking along the empty pathway, wondering when the evicted families will return.
Translated by SD for Coptic Solidarity; originally published by Al Ahram, 8/5/2012
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Coptic Solidarity 2014 Conference
The Annual Conference was held in Washington, D.C. on June 26-28, 2014.