Anja E. Harzke

Biblical forum
Magazine for theology from Biblical perspective


Harzke, Anja
Since 1998 Evangelist Pfarrerin in long/Hessen.


Anja Harzke, being enough

Talc on the Nile?
Inter+religious dialog in Egypt

Imprints a journey

What occurs, if the inter+religious dialog really one practices? Is it possible to lead in an Islamic coined/shaped country a dialog between German Protestant Theologinnen and theologians, for koptisch Evangelist, koptisch catholic and Muslim scholar? And which is the yield of such an attempt?

That were into for instance the questions, which probably eine/r the 16-koepfigen group from Germany before the journey placed itself to some.

From first to third March 1999 16 German and 16 Egyptian met scientist inside and scientists to a dialog forum with the title the Islam and " the west on a small Nile ship ". On a small ship on the way to be from Luxor to Aswan meant, very much from each other too experience - despite strangeness.

The starting point: The fear of cultural over-forming

The idea to this dialog journey developed from the observations that many humans in Germany fears concerning " Islam " to preserve and so some enemy picture is not only maintained. Also in the Muslim countries fears of " the west become " loud: threatening value expiry by a Verwestlichung, the climate is strained by colonial history.

So the attempt undertaken scientist inside and scientists for a change over fears and prejudices to bring together over separation, differences and thing in common.

Had loaded the dialog department of copilot TIC Evangelical Organization for Social services (CEOSS), which into Germany for instance the organizations Caritas or dia.-conical factory corresponds, in co-operation with the Islam working group of the Evangelist church in Hessen and Nassau (EKHN).

The contacts were through mean developed colleagues minister Dr. Tharwat Kades, which grew up in Egypt born and. It studied there Evangelist theology and was ordiniert in the Pfarramt. After study and graduation in Islam sciences in Heidelberg he is now for 23 years a minister in hessian being enough. Like that it is not amazing that the dialog between the countries and cultures of Egypt and Germany are, particularly however the dialog between Islam and Christianity its emphasis.

The place: Inter+religious dialog in Egypt

Egypt offers itself as place for such a dialog between the religions and cultures by the special history of the country. An Egyptian user formulated self-confident: " Egypt is the cradle of the civilization. What comes it from the west with your comparatively recent history? Egypt looks on 5 ,000 years back. Your attendance a visite of the grandchildren is culture historical with grandparents. "

Thousands of years ago the Pharaonenkult with its unbelievable cultural, scientific and architectural performances coined/shaped the country. During the time of the brightism Alexandria was a focal point of the well-known world at that time. Then under Roman rule - despite cruel pursuit to approximately 390 the Christianity spread A.D.. The Egyptian church separated from the eastRoman church and now koptische church was finally called - which simply the word for " Egyptian " is.

When starting from 641 Amr Ibn el As Egypt conquered and later Cairo based, the country was islamized by the Arab rulers. Until today the Islam is the state religion and approx. 90 % that Egyptian inside and Egyptians is Muslims (the number specification differ according to whether the numbers of Muslim page or koptischer page come).

The remaining approximately 10 to 15 % of the population is Christians, thus Kopten, which are divided however into orthodoxe Kopten (numerical the largest group), Roman-catholic and Protestant Kopten. Jews and Beduinen represent an infinitesimal minority.

The relation between koptischen Christians and Arab Muslims is strained, however in the last years something relaxed. The Christians e.g. the building was very much made more difficult by churches. Thus there is a law, which requires the permission and personal signature of the Egyptian president for each structural activity to or for a church!

A further aspect, which provides for voltages is that many Kopten are considered as very good trained and outstanding positions and occupations hold. Thus it came again and again to excesses approximately Christian inside and Christians. Marriages between Kopten and Muslims occur extremely rarely.

To the self understanding of the koptischen Christian inside and it belongs to Christians that they see themselves as direct descendants of the Pharaonen and the true " Egyptians as it were " are. While the Muslims of the Arabs come and so have another nationality. However pride is on their country and common to both groups on its large history, which is to be felt again and again

The meeting: Not only routistic impressions

Meetings also outside of the forum were inevitable and desired, them were as it were " program ": Thus divided ever a German and Egyptian user one of the small cabs. Enough time and opportunity resulted to " unofficial " discussions, which often contributed more to the mutual understanding and to the approximation than some operating phase. Dialog lives on personal meeting, was once more to be felt here.

Our travel guide Chalil was responsible for the routistic program. With the landgaengen during the three-day-long ship travel the time was scarcely limited, since the days the discussions and lectures were reserved.

Chalil - a Kopte, but very much endeavored around neutrality - accompanied us the whole week. To the study for the occupation of teacher it went studying to Germany around Germanistik. By its knowledge of German and Egyptian history highly educated, also he is a victim of the bad economic position and holds himself with tourist guide jobs over water. By its long Germany stay it is gesegnet with a large knowledge of the German mentality from the view of a Orientalen and a beautiful Bavarian accent.

For us Chalil was not a stroke of luck, there it, like each good travel guide, by any means only objects of interest, buildings and old cultures to explain could, but also many peculiarnesses of today's Egypt and its everyday life. Thus and translated he explained " besides " some customs (e.g. that the bride advertisement and still usual " " by parents) and the everyday life life of his compatriots for us.

Chalil naeherbrachte us with large application and many stories the buildings from the Pharaonenzeit, as for instance the temple systems of Edfu and Esna. It created it to this landgang also the Egyptian user inside and users to animate, who kept themselves far from the routistic trips otherwise.

Thus it concerned 5:00 o'clock in the morning ashore. Into Edfu we drove then by horse pferdekutsche by the tiny and much place coined/shaped by rural poverty, which arranged some of the Egyptian users to frighten views and expressions: Why one must now in the poorest nest of completely Egypt, where there would be so much beautiful to see here - the poverty in the country is surely no good sign for tourists. But it was to be seen interesting for us, with which problems today's Egypt has to fight, as for many Egyptians today the everyday life looks - in the shadow of the magnificent past.

The system in Edfu is therefore something special, since the grandiose Horus temple is really still quite received: the monumental building resembles an enormous right parallelepiped. On an older first Horustempel under king Djosres built later Pharaonen 18. and 19. Dynasty likewise at the temple further (a frequent phenomenon). The Greeks was however not representative the whole enough as seat for its God Apollo, which represented correspondence Horus. Thus Ptolemaeus began IIITH in the year 237 *** TRANSLATION ENDS HERE ***