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[vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_single_image image=”126296″ img_size=”full” add_caption=”yes” alignment=”center”][vc_column_text]08/17/2021 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – Ayman Ashraf is about to turn 13 and enter his teenage years, a tumultuous time for many but particularly for someone like Ayman who grew up as a poor Christian in Egypt where his whole community has faced systemic persecution for generations. Ayman lives with his parents and two brothers, Shady who is five years older and Steven who is five years younger. His father is the family’s primary breadwinner, working as a day laborer and also has diabetes. The life his father is living is the life that was essentially handed down to him, and it is the life that awaits Ayman. Unless there is something that can be done to break the cycles of persecution.

ICC’s Hope House seeks to combat the generational discrimination that Egyptian Christians face by providing quality education and support for the individual child and the whole family unit. As a participant in the child sponsorship program, Ayman receives additional educational, nutritional, medical and spiritual support. Ayman’s mother commented on the Hope House center saying, “it’s better than the [public] schooling, the kids gain more knowledge there. But my son is not interested in education, he wants to be daily worker.”[/vc_column_text][vc_custom_heading text=”“`{`Hope House`}` is better than the `{`public`}` schooling, the kids gain more knowledge there. But my son is not interested in education, he wants to be daily worker.”” font_container=”tag:h5|text_align:left” use_theme_fonts=”yes” css=”.vc_custom_1629127410120{margin-top: 50px !important;margin-bottom: 60px !important;padding-right: 20px !important;padding-left: 20px !important;}”][vc_column_text css=”.vc_custom_1629127314172{margin-bottom: 0px !important;}”]

Ayman’s desire to be a day laborer likely stems from what has been modeled to him. As Christians in Egypt are treated as second-class citizens, restricted in their upward mobility, day laborer jobs are often all that is commonly available to them. It takes time and patience to work through these deep-rooted beliefs that hold Christian children back. Ayman told ICC about his daily routine saying, “I go out to tour the village, selling slippers and shoes until sunset. Then I get back to my house and watch the TV then I walk down streets and play with my friends.”

The ability to speak out against discrimination is difficult, as the government often disregards its role in the persecution of Christians. Speaking of holidays, Ayman commented, “I attended the celebration day in the protestant church, we watched a play, I’m a shy kid, so I can’t stand on the stage and act like the other kids do.” Ayman’s disbelief in himself to participate in a play makes it even less likely that he will grow up and want to fight the status quo for his religious minority.

ICC’s Hope House seeks to equip him with all the educational tools to help Ayman grow up and pursue big dreams. Though he is scoring below average compared to his classmates, the staff is not giving up on Ayman. Deep-rooted issues of persecution take time to unravel and rewrite.

Would you consider partnering with ICC to help fight the generational persecution that Christians in Egypt face? To learn more about ICC’s Hope House or provide a financial gift, visit this page. To inquire about sponsoring a child, contact ICC at [email protected].

For interviews please contact Addison Parker: [email protected]