Jābir ‘Asfūr published the second part of his article ’School of Copts,’ in which he discusses his education at a Coptic school where he spent his childhood with his Coptic colleagues and friends.
[Reviewer: See the first article in AWR 2008, week 4, art. 23]
‘Asfūr asserts that there was no discrimination between Copts and Muslims, explaining that during the happy times they used to celebrate together, and during the bad times they supported each other. He recalls his memories of the 1956 war when prayers were held over the bodies of the Muslim and Christian martyred soldiers alike.
He also recalls the joy of the people of his village when the late Jamāl ‘Abd al-Nāsir nationalized the Suez Canal. He believes that national events used to bring people closer together because it was a celebration of something higher than their religious affiliation; the homeland.
He asserts that the 1919 Revolution slogan of ’Religion for God and the homeland for all’ was carved into people’s hearts and mind; thus, there was no room for hatred or sectarianism.
Jābir ‘Asfūr explains that even among the literary elite, authors were never called Muslim writers or Christian authors. He says that the only difference between Amīn Yūsuf Ghurāb and Yūsuf al-Shārūnī on one hand and Najīb Mahfūz and ‘Alī Ahmad Bakathīr on the other was their styles, but not their religions.
[Reviewer: These are the names of four well-known Egyptian writers; the first two are Copts while the second two are Muslims]