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On March 8, sixteen-year-old Shenouda Adly heard gunfire on the road approaching his neighborhood in the Mokattam Hills of Cairo. When he asked what it was, Shenouda’s friends told him that the revolution had reached their doorstep. In actuality, however, a group of young Coptic men were blocking the road in protest to show their solidarity with other Coptic Christians who were demonstrating over a church that had been burnt down by a Muslim mob outside of Cairo days earlier. Listening to the crackle of gunshots from his home, Shenouda could not resist the urge to see the protest for himself. At 4:00 pm, he went to join his friends on the street.

“We were at one side and the Muslim on the other, we have hundreds of injured at the Coptic side,” one protestor said. “The Muslims were shooting from behind the army tanks.” The military had also reportedly opened fire into the air and at the Coptic protestors.

When Shenouda arrived at the scene, his father was already there and told him to return to the house immediately. Soon after, the father also returned home, but could not find his son. “Where’s my son? Where’s my son?” the father shouted. Shenouda’s friend told the father that he had found Shenouda in the hospital. When Shenouda’s family arrived to see him, they learned that Shenouda had been shot through the chest and was already dead. “It was the army who killed him,” Shenouda’s uncle, who was at the scene, told ICC. “They shot at many Christian people.”

ICC visited Shenouda’s mother, sister, and uncle, as well as eight other families who lost loved ones, to offer financial assistance and to help them begin a sustainable business.

Shenouda’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 rubbish. Please pray for Shenouda’s mother and sister (pictured) as well as the eight other families who lost loved ones in this tragic anti-Christian attack.

To learn more about Cairo’s trash collectors, visit ICC’s Out of Egypt blog here: