COPTIA AGAIN – AND MORE SPECIFICALLY – IS THE COPTIC NATION AND THE POTENTIAL COPTIC PATRIE
Patrie is a French word which means the homeland, fatherland, motherland, native country.
The Coptic patrie means in short the Coptic homeland and State.
In a previous article we coined the word “Coptia”, where, we said, the word means the Copts’ physical space, Coptic community and Coptic nation.
We had aimed to revolutionise the concept of our understanding of ourselves: previously, we looked at ourselves as a Church (i.e. ecclesia or the group of people who follow the Coptic Church), people and sometimes, with a lot of hesitation, nation. We never saw ourselves tied to a land of ours – Egypt was our physical space even though we never had full or partial control of it, and when others ruled us and decided for us what would become of that physical space, and more importantly, what would become of us.
The novelty that the word has introduced is its association with a “Coptic” physical space – the Copts’ spiritual and temporal space. Any part of Coptia, wherever it is, will become a national property of all the Copts; and their collective space, here, there and everywhere, will assume a patrie-like quality. This is the real revolutionary novelty about the word.
Now, we want to be even more specific: Coptia is the Coptic nation and the potential Coptic patrie (homeland, fatherland, motherland, native country, Coptic state). We do not shift in our conviction that the Copts constitute a nation, a cultural one presently. Does it necessarily need to convert into a political nation with its nation-state? We don’t know yet. As we have said, we are unionist by first choice, but all depends on the Muslims of Egypt – if they deny us equal status and freedom, we do not have any doubt that Egypt will partition in the future. While the concept of Coptia as patrie is not a political fact, it helps to imagine it and be prepared if we are pushed by the fascist Islamists to look for other options.