The following narratives introduce individuals who are detained in refugee camps. They are in desperate need of the La Casa Futura project currently underway by Voice of the Copts. Egyptian youths have been uprooted and displaced for various reasons all related to religious persecution. Names have been changed to protect identities. Narratives are based on true accounts of actual events.
At age thirteen, Muneer was a talented soccer player. In fact, he was “the king” according to the head coach of one of Egypt’s Team A professionals in Cairo who one day observed Muneer playing football with his school team. The coach invited him to come to the club for try-outs. Muneer arrived at the club at 2 pm as agreed and was directed to the locker room where he dressed and went onto the field with the competition.
Muneer managed the ball well, using his head and feet as experts watched. When the trial was done, the recruiters approached him and offered him their congratulations on becoming part of the club. After this verbal acceptance, Muneer was asked to fill out an application to make it official.
Muneer was too excited to have any reservations. He duly filled in the blanks on the form answering all the questions asked about his identity, including his religion. Prior to the paperwork, Muneer had been given the return date for his first practice.
Muneer’s dream just came true! He would follow in the footsteps of Egyptian Coptic footballer, Stephan Al Sharawy who plays for Italy’s Roma team and Mohamed Salah who was transferred from Rome team to Liverpool team of England, and is admired greatly by Muneer’s whole family.
When Muneer arrived at the club for the first practice, he ran onto the field from the locker room dressed and ready with great enthusiasm. But he was ignored by all the players, and he was snubbed by the coach. The air was ice cold.
There was only one reason for this. The minority community knew it well. Muneer suddenly remembered the registration table he brushed past entering the field. It was odd that one application form was on it. He thought nothing of it until now. Muneer exited the field all alone He knew the icy silence he received meant rejection from the team. He glanced down at the table and saw that it was his paperwork, unregistered and ready for the shredder. His worst fear was confirmed.
When Muneer returned home utterly defeated, his father took him aside. He had a true story from the past to recall to Muneer. It would make him understand that even had he been greeted and embraced this day on the field his career would have been in the hands of his nemesis.
In the 1960’s, Coptic Christian player, Ead Abed El- Malek , top footballer on Egypt’s Zamalek Team A received standing jeer’s — a smear campaign from Egyptian fans of his own team in attendance. He had just completed the perfect corner kick to score from the far field corner – the world was watching as well, and the kick went down in the annuls of world soccer, but the humiliation of Ead Abed El- Malek suffered in front of thousands as he delivered the winning play for his team was a hard lesson learned about his own country.
This now rang true for Muneer in a way that diminished all the good he had experienced in his short life. He was not free to pursue his dream and for a reason that was unacceptable to him. His father understood and supported Muneer’s decision to leave Egypt. When Muneer turned fifteen he did.
Today, Muneer resides in a refugee camp outside of Egypt. He wants to be free to succeed regardless of his religion. For the first time, he sees this as a real possibility.
Muneer needs our help to make it. If he is to remain, he will need to be prepared for independence and a new citizenship. The La Casa Futura project will assist him in doing this.
The project needs your help to help Muneer and others like him. Donating $5, 10, 25, 50, 100… or more to this vital program will serve to prepare and assimilate Egyptian youth into a new culture.
Please donate today to save lives and build futures!
La Casa Futura project currently consists of one dormitory building providing help for up to 100 youths per session. Each session provides language learning, job direction, and cultural understanding. LCF is in its initial stage of development as we seek financial backers and matching funds for individual donations.