Coptic Christians in the garbage district of the Mokattam Hills of Cairo protested in the streets on March 8 to condemn attacks on Christians and the destruction of a church that had occurred days earlier in a nearby village. The Coptic protestors were met by a Muslim mob, both of whom threw stones at each other. At 4:00 pm, the Egyptian military intervened by firing live ammunition at the Coptic protestors, according to eye witnesses.
Hearing gunfire, Sama’an Nazmi went to the site of the demonstration to see if anyone needed help. “I’m not afraid,” Sama’an told a friend. “I want to protect my church and my family.” The gunfire continued after Sama’an arrived on the scene and it was he who became the next victim. “The Egyptian military killed my son,” Sama’an’s mother told ICC.
The family took Sama’an to the hospital, but the doctor said nothing could be done. Sama’an was 28 years old, and left behind his wife, five-year-old son Hany, and two-year-old daughter Mariam.
“They take our children, our money, and our power. They take everything. What do they want from us?” Sama’an’s mother lamented.
ICC recently visited Sama’an’s family and eight other families who lost loved ones on March 8. ICC is giving financial assistance to these families and helping some of them begin a sustainable business. Sama’an’s family lives in an area of Cairo known as a ‘garbage community.’ The family’s lone source of income comes from collecting and recycling Cairo’s trash. Please pray for Sama’an’s family (pictured) as well as the eight other families who lost loved ones in this tragic attack.