More details were published about achieving a solution for the conflict in Abū Fānā. Egyptian newspapers reported on the start of the construction of a fence around the monastery and the satisfaction of all parties.
Article full text:
This week’s newspapers covered the achievement of an agreement between the monastery of Abū Fānā and the tribal communities in the neighboring villages.
Al-Wafd of August 18, 2008 published what it considered to be “the last word in the Abū Fānā crisis.” Al-Wafd reported that the conventional committee assigned to solve the problem of Abū Fānā had achieved a final agreement between the monks and the tribal communities of Qasr Hūr.
Al-Wafd reported that Bishop Marqus, head of the information committee of the Coptic Orthodox Church declared that the agreement states that the monastery gets 505 feddans that are to be fenced.
In the same context, Monk Kyrillos, deputy of Abū Fānā Monastery declared, as reported in al-Wafd, that the monastery gave up some of 'its land' in order to build the fence . He added that the concession was a sign of respect for Pope Shenouda’s desire to solve the problem. “Without building the fence and under the reluctance of the executive institutions in issuing the construction authorizations, the agreement is void,” Monk Kyrillos concluded as reported by al-Wafd. [Editor: how was it land of the monastery? Through wada'iyat or through legal registration with govenrment authorities? This has remained unclear till this moment]
On August 21, al-Misrī al-Yawm headlined: ‘The Abū Fānā commitee concludes its works with no conflicts.’ Al-Misrī al-Yawm reported that the committee, formed by Mahmūd ‘Abd al-Birr, head of the General Authority for Reconstruction Projects and Agricultural Development [GARPAD] had achieved a solution. The committee’s work was finalized on August 20, 2008 and there are seven procedures that it has been decided will be taken. One of these decisions stipulates the protection of the archaeological remains of the old monastery, the church and the lands to be reclaimed, the Christian cemetery, and the cells next to the church. This is in addition to other procedures that are intended to legalize the land ownership applications of the neighboring Bedouins.
Al-Misrī al-Yawm of August 23, 2008 published that both Pope Shenouda III and General Ahmad Diyā’ al-Dīn, governor of Minia approved of the agreement achieved by the conventional committee [also called [known in Egypt as a ‘urfī committe].
On the same day, Bāhī al-Rūmī of al-Jumhūrīyah headlined: ‘starting the construction of the fence of Abū Fānā and the lands of the people of Qasr Hūr.’
Al-Misrī al-Yawm of the next day reported that ‘Īd Labīb, member of the reconciliation committee announced that the criminal part of the Abū Fānā crisis will soon be put to an end. He added that the two parties signed two contracts; one of them for the committee of the General Authority of the Reconstruction Projects and Agriculture Development about the area, the borders and the maps. The second contract, however, concerns the penalty clauses that amount to two million Egyptian Pounds that will be imposed in the future on the party that restarts any possible altercations.
On August 24, al-Jumhūrīyah reported what it described as a public celebration for Muslims and Christians that accompanied the start of the construction of the fence. Al-Jumhūrīyah reported that Muslims participated in the construction works.
Al-Jumhūrīyah reported the Minia governor’s assertion that the ministerial committee’s decisions satisfied both parties and that 550 feddans were specified for the monastery [this was probably a typing error, because all other newspaper mentioned 505 feddāns], and 1200 feddans for the Bedouins of Qasr Hūr.
It is noteworthy that Hānī Samīr of al-Dustūr of August 18, 2008 had reported that Ihāb Ramzī, lawyer of the monastery announced his intention to sue MP ‘Alā’ Hassānayn. He elaborated that the conventional committee in which Hassānayn was a member told Pope Shenouda and the monksthat the wall would be build as soon as an agreement is achieved, which proved to be nothing more than empty words.