The Copts of Egypt: The Challenges of Modernisation and by Vivian Ibrahim

By Vivian Ibrahim

The Coptic Christians of Egypt have routinely been portrayed as a "beleaguered minority." This booklet makes use of newly found Coptic archival assets to offer a bright and substitute snapshot of the group, interpreting Coptic enterprise within the 20th century. Vivian Ibrahim finds a robust Coptic reaction to the emergence and threats of Political Islam from the Nineteen Forties, and examines how Copts negotiated a job for themselves through the colonial interval and in Nasser’s post-revolutionary Egypt. disregarding the monolithic portrayal of the neighborhood, she highlights the numerous Coptic factions and teams that contributed to the id of the Coptic neighborhood within the first 1/2 the 20 th century.

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Extra info for The Copts of Egypt: The Challenges of Modernisation and Identity (Library of Modern Middle East Studies)

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This policy of educating girls was also promoted by Abu Islah, and then later by his successors who frequently commented that prospective mothers were the cultivators of Coptic children. Similarly, Pope Demetrius (1861–70), Abu Islah’s successor, also responded to the educational activities of the Presbyterians. In particular, the role played by the missions in Asyut, Upper Egypt, 32 THE COPTS OF EGYPT led Demetrius to establish a rival modern school in the city in 1862. 114 In 1862, Demetrius employed a Copt who had received his education in a Presbyterian missionary school as headmaster for the new school in Asyut.

Total expenditure for all levels of state education was LE 29,000, this was despite the fact that education had been at the forefront of early khedival modernisation policies. 18 While the British were keen to promote greater education, this was stunted in the early years of the occupation by a lack of funds. A link between the education system and the bureaucracy was also formalised during the occupation: the British keenly promoted education in order to assist the modernisation of the state and fill vacant bureaucratic jobs.

The Civil Service was divided into two ranks, as Egyptians increasingly regarded education as a stepping stone to a secure government position. By the early twentieth century graduates demanding government jobs exceeded the numbers available. As a result, educational requirements for government employment were steadily raised leading to a reorganisation of the structure. 19 In 1905, a decree stipulated that after 1909 the higher rank of the Civil Service was only open to those with secondary certificates; they would have a starting wage 42 THE COPTS OF EGYPT of LE 8 a month and no ceiling wage on advancement.

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