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By Coptic Solidarity

Coptic Solidarity hosted its 11th Annual Conference The Indigenous Copts: Past Denied and Future Unknown in Washington, DC on June 15-16, 2023.

A full report of the event, along with video recordings of the various sessions, will follow soon. In the meantime here below is a short update:

The Policy Day was hosted on June 15th in the US Capitol Visitor Center with the 2nd day of the conference hosted at the Courtyard by Marriott Pentagon South on June 16th.

In April, Coptic Solidarity published a new report titled  The Coptic Identity: Recognizing the Coptic Indigenous Peoples Status for Protection from State-Sponsored Discrimination, which was presented to the UN Special Rapporteur for the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and to 8 United Nations Country Missions in New York City during the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Rights.

The report explains why Copts qualify and should be recognized as an indigenous minority and contends that Egypt’s Copts merit additional protection for their persons, and for cultural, linguistic, and historical protection beneath a variety of United Nations Charters and Agreements. The 11th Annual Conference will be a continued exploration of that theme and seeking possible solutions.

Video of the individual sessions will be available soon.

Policy Day Program on June 15th at the US Capitol Visitor Center

Welcome by Caroline Doss, President of Coptic Solidarity

Presentation: Egypt’s Denial of Copts’ Status and Rights as Indigenous Peoples

  • Moderated by: Faith McDonnell – Director of Advocacy, Katartismos Global
  • Dr. Gregory Stanton – Founder & President, Genocide Watch
  • Adel Guindy – Founding President of Coptic Solidarity & Author of A Sword Over the Nile: A Brief History of the Copts Under Islamic Rule

US Representative French Hill (R- AR)

Frank Wolf –
Commissioner, US Commission on International Religious Freedom

Mariah Mercer – Deputy Director, Office of International Religious Freedom, State Department

Session: Unequal by Law: How Religion Usurps Citizenship Rights in Egypt

  • Moderated by: Raymond Ibrahim – Author, Public Speaker, and Middle East and Islam specialist
  • Robert Destro, JD – Professor of Law at Columbus School of Law, The Catholic University of America
  • Paul Marshal – Wilson Distinguished Professor of Religious Freedom at the Institute for Studies of Religion; Director of the Religious Freedom Institute’s South and Southeast Asia Action Team; Senior Fellow – Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom

Session: Introduction to International Advocacy

  • Moderated by Tent Martin – Advocacy and Training Coordinator, 21Wilberforce
  • Ann Buwalda J.D. – President, Jubilee Campaign
  • Sean Nelson J.D. – Legal Counsel Alliance Defending Freedom Global

Coptic Solidarity’s Atef Jacob Annual Award:  Lindsay Rodriguez of Coptic Solidarity Presented Award to Ann Buwalda of Jubilee Campaign

Session: Practical Solutions for Achieving Equal Citizenship Rights for Egypt’s Copts

  • Moderated by: Lindsay Rodriguez – Director of Development & Advocacy, Coptic Solidarity
  • Nathan J. Brown, Ph.D. – Professor of Political Science and International Affairs, George Washington University and Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Caroline Doss – President, Coptic Solidarity
  • Amy Hawthorne – Deputy Director of Research – POMED
  • David Schenker – Director, Program on Arab Politics, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy

Presentation: Coptic Solidarity’s Key Advocacy Initiatives and Campaigns

Session: The Ordeal of Christians in the Middle East & Africa

King, Okai, Raheema
  • Moderated by Jeff King: President, International Christian Concern
  • Unamed Sudanse Coptic Witness will share first- hand testimony about recent events and escape to the US
  • Aimar Raheema Christians Without Home(Iraq)and Isis’s Victim
  • Simisola Okai –Activist, TV Producer & Author of I Want to Be a Mommy When I Grow Up: Lessons of Faith and Hope

Program Day 2 – June 16, 2023 at the Courtyard by Marriott Pentagon South

Welcome by Coptic Solidarity

Poem for Global Coptic Day written by Ghada Melek, Coptic Solidarity Executive Committee Member

Presentation + Q & A on 10th Anniversary of Church Burnings by Raymond Ibrahim –
Author, Public Speaker, and Middle East and Islam specialist

Presentation + Q & A by  Mariam Ibraheem
Co-Founder & Director of Global Mobilization, Tahrir Alnisa Foundation; Former Sudanese prisoner of conscience

Presentation + Q & A on Youth Perspective & Engagement by Mark Bastsa, Coptic Solidarity Intern & Student at Berkley Univeristy

Session: Controlling the Narrative in Egypt

  • Moderated by: Hayvi Bouzo, Broadcast Journalist, Host of The Yalla Show
  • Mohamed Gohar– Founder of 25TV who hid 17 Copts in his office building during the Maspero Massacre
  • Bashar Jarrar – Political Analyst, Commentator, & Media Consultant
  • Sherif Mansour – Middle East Program Coordinator, Committee to Protect Journalists
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  • Souzan Abdelmassih

    Thank you for what you do for the Copts. God bless you.

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