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By Coptic Solidarity

It is with deep sorrow that Coptic Solidarity announces the passing of founding Executive Committee Member, Mr. Atef Jacoub, on January 27, 2020, from COVID-19.

Atef was an exemplary person. He was kind-hearted, giving without limits, and genuinely caring about others. He had a rare sense of duty and service. His shyness hid deep thoughtfulness and wisdom, all wrapped in amazing self-denial, self-effacement, and self-sacrifice. 

Atef avoided the spotlight and preferred to serve in the background. Yet, few have contributed so greatly to the cause of Coptic equality and protection in Egypt. No project or task was too menial. Atef served as the treasurer for Coptic Solidarity since its founding in 2010. He coordinated logistics for  Coptic Solidarity events in the D. C. area, participated in numerous rallies for persecuted Copts and other minorities, frequently hosted guests in his home, and volunteered extensively with his church St Mark’s and Saint Timothy and Saint Athanasius Coptic Orthodox Church.  In short, Coptic Solidarity would not exist without his sacrificial financial support, recruitment, and volunteering.

Painting by Essam Iskander

Atef was born in Gerga, Egypt. He attended Cairo University’s Faculty of Engineering where he met Coptic Solidarity’s founding president, Mr. Adel Guindy when they were freshman. Atef and Adel’s close friendship, which spanned more than six decades, provided the strong foundation on which Coptic Solidarity was created. Atef immigrated to the US in 1983 and worked at the Internal Revenue Service as an electrical engineer.

While both friends were able to emigrate and establish successful careers outside of Egypt, the most vulnerable Copts who continue to suffer from extreme poverty, persecution, and discrimination were never far from their thoughts, and they were constantly thinking of new ways to support and advocate for them.

Atef is survived by his devoted wife Georgette. He was the proud father of  Marianne and her husband Father Anthony,  Irene and her husband Sameh, and John. He adored his grandchildren, Michael, Lizzie, Anna, Maya, and James. He was deeply devoted to his siblings, the late Gamal and Soad, Hosni and Ramonda, Magdy and Mona, Mervet and Ibrahim, Girgis and Afaf, Emad and Inas, and Magda and Wassim and in-laws, George and Hawaida, Magdy and Magda, Kamal and Hala, Lala and Talaat and Maher and Elise. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews, whom he loved deeply. Coptic Solidarity extends our sincere condolences to his family, friends, and community who affectionally called him Uncle Atef.

Your absence leaves a chasm in our hearts and we hold close the memory of how you touched each of our lives.

Eternal peace to your soul, Atef. Pray for us.

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