ICC Note: A protest organized by Egyptian Christians in Washington, DC called for greater awareness of the threats that Christian face in the region and was also a time of remembrance of those whose lives were taken in Libya. As organizers told ICC at the event, “We’ve shed a lot of blood in the Middle East, but we remain faithful.”
02/24/2015 Egypt (Washington Post) Hanna Asaad, a network engineer in Fairfax, Va., grew up in the village of Aloor in southern Egypt. He was able to immigrate to the United States several years ago, but his best friend and cousin, Samuel Alham, sought work as a laborer in nearby Libya, like many other Coptic Christians in the impoverished region.
Shortly after Christmas, Alham and 20 of his fellow Coptic laborers were kidnapped by Islamic State militants in Libya. In mid-February, they were marched to a Mediterranean beach in handcuffs and orange prison jumpsuits. Then they were beheaded with knives as a video camera recorded the gruesome scene.
On Tuesday, Asaad, 29, joined 20 protesters who donned orange jumpsuits and stood outside the White House, then knelt with their hands behind their backs. Behind them, other demonstrators held up photographs of the real victims and the blood-red waves where their headless corpses were thrown.
“I kept calling my cousin and telling him he had to leave Libya, but there was no safe way out,” Asaad said. “The militants came looking for Christians and then took them away. They murdered my cousin, my nephew and my classmates. Someday soon they will start murdering people in this country.”