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September 5, 2014

 Om MarinaThe brave Coptic woman, Om Marina (Mother of Marina), and her daughter, Marina

  An article from Coptic Orphans[1] by Amal Morcos (May 2012)[2]

The interrogation had been going for six hours. The questions were relentless. “Where is your daughter!?” But Om Marina would not give in. She had hid her daughter and coldly replied to the police, “Over my dead body.” Her husband had left her to convert[3] and he had sent the police to collect Marina. Egyptian law was, of course, on his side.[4]

And why did he want his daughter? Because the more family members he could list on his identification card, the more food staples he could collect. That was the worth of his daughter in his eyes.

The incredible thing about this story is that Om Marina’s home consisted of a couch in the hallway of someone else’s house. A generous donor found out about their plight and said that they would be willing to provide half the cost of an apartment if Coptic Orphans covered the rest. Soon Om Marina and her daughter moved into their own apartment in Alexandria.

“I hope my daughter becomes a lawyer to fight injustice,” says Om Marina, who can now provide her daughter with an education as well as a safe place to call home.



[1] Coptic Orphans is a registered non-profit in the United States, Canada, Australia, Egypt and the United Kingdom. It’s perhaps the largest charity that provides help to the orphans in Egypt and its poor Copts. It was founded by Nermien Riad in 1988. On Coptic Nationalism encourages its readers to donate to Coptic Orphans or you can sponsor one of its orphans. If you want to donate to it, go here.

[2] We have changed the title given to the article by the writer, which is simply, “Not Without My Daughter”.

[3] Convert to Islam.

[4] If a Coptic husband or wife converts to Islam, the children must follow his move and become Muslims even if they don’t. They are forced by law to do that and they are taken away from the Christian wife or husband. In Egypt, Islam is regarded as the best religion, and so the children should follow the parent with that best religion and abandon the parent who holds the lower religion (Christianity of Judaism). The scenario of one of a married couple converting to Islam usually occurs when a conflict exists between the two and one seeks divorce.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Adele A. Chatelain permalink
    September 6, 2014 3:01 pm

    What a great story! It brought tears to my eyes, but tears of JOY! What a brave mother!!! I thought of my own strong mother, while reading it. May God bless them both! (I wish they were here, so that I could hug them!) And thank you so much for sending/printing it.

  2. September 6, 2014 7:15 pm

    Om Marina…a pillar among pillars of the saints of our Church…may she pray for us all and continue being a light to the world of a true Orthodox Christian!

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