The Author

Alexandra Kinias is the co-author of the controversial movie Cairo Exit Banned from screening in Egypt, Cairo Exit was screened in Dubai, Toronto, Munich, and Tribeca Film Festival and won Best Non European Film in the European Independent Film Festival in 2011. Her screenplay ‘Leila’s World’ was short listed in Rawi Screenwriter’s Lab in 2010. The fiction novel Black Tulips reflects Alexandra’s experience as a woman growing up in Egypt.  It is told through the eyes of four Egyptian women sharing the same hardships of living in a male dominant society. Black Tulips is in the publishing process.
Her work appears in Kalimat MagazineAlexandra currently lives between The United States and Egypt and is working on her second book Cleopatra’s sisters.

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8 responses to “The Author

  1. Nazih R Salama

    Dear Alexandra,

    I did peruse with interest your article “The priest’s wife”, regarding the disappearance of Camellia Z Shehata, the wife referred to in the title. I have some reservations about claiming that the priest “used the power granted him by the Church to mobilise demonstrations”, as this is an insult to the intelligence of the Coptic people, who moved with spontaneity to the news of the disappearance.

    I am glad that you referred to the 2004 incident of Wafaa Constantin, another priest’s wife – that time it was in Lower Egypt – who disappeared in similar circumstances. In both cases, there was a whole body of evidence that it was a work colleague, a Muslim male, who was instrumental in encouraging the wife to “disappear”.

    There are many processes in place to seek reconciliation within the Church, but in each case, it seemed that the wife took the easy way out by seeking conversion to Islam, a “one-way process” in Egypt, particularly during the last four decades. (Conversion from Islam to Christianity is almost impossible).

    Wafaa declared – after her return – that she was born Christian and will die Christian. In the effort to convert Coptic females to Islam, a priest’s wife is a prized trophy, symbolically speaking.

    Currently there are many Islamist gangs working tooth-and-nail to convert Coptic girls – many of whom are underage – using all sorts of nefarious means to achieve their goal. Among the most common is to prey on vulnerable girls who are emotionally or financially insecure. It starts usually by the girl confiding her troubles to a Muslim girlfriend, then, surprise, surprise, enter the friend’s brother, one thing leads to another, including sex. You can imagine the rest.

    Intersectarian violence these days – particularly in Upper Egypt – may be started by school-yard fights, but this is not the main reason. Violence is started, invariably, after Friday prayers, following incitement by a spiteful preacher, spreading a rumour that Copts are poisoning the water supply in Town, as what happened in El-Koasheh, or that they – the local Copts – plan to use a house to conduct their prayers, as what happened in Luxor. Was the murder of 7 Coptic worshippers, leaving their church after midnight prayers – on 06/01/10 – triggered by schoolyard disputes? Violence is perpetrated by ignorant Muslim mobs, incited and manipulated by extremist groups and individuals. How many incidents of sectarian violence were initiated by Christians? None!

    Like yourself, I considered Alexandria to be my favourite city, although I was born in Cairo and lived there most of my life before leaving for Australia, for good, with my small family in 1968.
    Now with so many sectarian atrocities, perpetrated by Muslim extremists against Copts there, I wonder, is this the same Alexandria where I lived for four years – 1958 to 1961 – studying pharmacy and had fondest memories of? Is this the same city where my religion was a non-issue and where I felt secure? I am not sure.

    Respectfully yours,

    Nazih
    ———————————————————-
    Nazih R Salama
    B. Pharm. & Ph. Chem., Alex.
    Dip. Ed., Melb., B. Ed., Latrobe
    M. Ed. (Ed. Admin.), Melb.

  2. Nazih R Salama

    Dear Alexandra,

    I sent a comment, but I have no idea whether you received it or not. I can see the sentence above, “Your comment is awaiting moderation”. I have no idea what does it mean exactly. Briefly, I found your article to be biased against the Copts. Priests have no authrity to mobilise demonstrations. I don’t know where did you get that notion. Did you get the information for article first-hand? Copts now are being discriminated against at every level, in a systematic way, and that includes the activities of Islamists gangs working to convert Coptic girls to Islam – many of whom are under-age.

    Respectfully yours,

    Nazih R Salama, Melbourne, Australia

    B. Pharm. & Ph. Ch. Alex.,
    M. Ed. (Ed. Admin.), Melb.
    Dip. Ed., Melb., B. Ed. La Trobe,

  3. Thanks Nazih for visiting my blog and leaving your comment.

    Back to the topic of our discussion, I don’t see that I am biased against anyone even though I am accused of being a biased by everybody. Please read my other posts about various subjects that relate to women.

    No one can deny that Copts in Egypt are harassed and being discriminated against in all shapes and forms, and that’s the truth. I wish to see that they have more rights and freedoms in their country.

    However, this article addressed another issue. I do not fabricate any news or take the liberty to write something from my imagination unless I am working on my novels.

    Please check these links if you have any doubt to what I have written in my article.
    Thanks again and your comments are always welcomed.

    http://www.thedailynewsegypt.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=121535&catid=1&Itemid=183
    http://www.almasry-alyoum.com/article2.aspx?ArticleID=263868
    http://www.almasry-alyoum.com/article2.aspx?ArticleID=263554
    http://www.almasry-alyoum.com/article2.aspx?ArticleID=265006
    http://www.aina.org/news/20100723022355.htm
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20100725/wl_africa_afp/egyptreligion
    http://www.ahewar.org/debat/show.art.asp?t=0&userID=1897&aid=225548
    http://bikyamasr.com/wordpress/?p=15051
    http://dostor.org/editorial/10/july/24/23252

  4. May

    Dear Nazih and Alexandra,

    it is really sad that religious discriminiation has reached Egypt. and it is more sad to know that the new arising muslim generation are not as tolerant as their mothers and fathers.

    i cant help but to notice that wherever we go, we create issues with religion and what we call the others.

    the way i look at it is like this:
    the level of awareness of the muslim culture is similar to a 9 year old child’s who is still self absorbed and centered and who needs to grow up.

    wherever we go we demand the other to respect our identity but we never do the same to others, wherever we go we demand the other to understand our culture while we dont do that ourselves.

    Obama understood this issue and he is sepearating the extremists from the moderates by granting the islamic center, celebrating ramadan etc… this way hopefully a more moderate muslims will rise and by god’s help the culture of islam will grow a little. The copts in Egypt will not witness the difference in our life time unfortunately.

    we just have to admit that it is going to take us more and more time for our culture to mature.
    good thing that you live in Australia 🙂

    god bless!
    May

    • May, the tolerance that our parents and grandparents have witnessed and practiced toward the various cultures and religions that existed in Egypt no longer exists, even if they are superficially rubbing it into everybody’s face.

      What everybody is ignoring is that Egypt had flourished when all cultures and religions co-existed and people concentrated ob being productive rather than conspiring against the other. A quick comparison to how Egypt was and how it is now, can summarize the situation.

  5. heba Abdel-Aziz

    I am very sorry about this rumor concerning Muslims in Egypt rapping and kidnapping Christian women and forcing them to change their religion!
    There is a proverb that says, “If the speaker is crazy, then the listener is wise?”
    We can’t deny the fact that Christians are badly treated in Egypt because of ignorance and growing fanaticism, but also Muslims are badly treated due to lack of democracy and oppression. Concerning religion in our so called country, Egyptians alike, Muslim and Christians are both ignorant about the others religion and a silent war is brewing.
    What is the problem if a Muslim wants to change his faith or a Christian follows suit? If you take away all the minor changes in religions, you will find the core the same. For believers, there is a God and God is love and there is good and bad, what else matters!
    All this talk about differences in religion and which one is better and how many joins this and how many joins that is quite trivial. We are all human beings and we were all born free, but put into chains and what religions really do is put chains around our thoughts and cripple our development. What should matter is what kind of person one is?
    I guess not hurting others and treating people the way you want to be treated is what ones God, expect from oneself and if you succeed in reaching so then you should have fulfilled all religions.
    There should be no forcing in religion and the law has to change, whoever wants to marry whoever, from whichever other faith should be allowed to do so, without the other having to convert into another faith. There is something called civil marriage and there is another thing called religious marriage. People should have a choice.
    We also have to accept that some people may wish to change their faith and others who fall in love and have no other choice but to convert to be able to live with their beloved! The majority of women in Egypt are oppressed by the male gender of both religions and Christianity forbidding divorce because of the verse “Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”
    Sorry, but this is not feasible, you can’t ask a spouse to suffer all his/her life and live a miserable marriage because of this verse, I don’t believe that God, the merciful would want this to happen to any of his children!
    Accept that both Coptic women were miserable in their marriages and wanted to flee the marriage and the Church has left them no other way out!

    • Christianized Pagan females in Egypt were kidnapped, rapped, and forced to convert to Islam in early 2010; so, it is a fact and not a rumor! Islam is not just a religious system but also a political system, which is a theocracy (just like ORIGINAL Judaism); so, there can be no true democracy under Islam in Egypt. Muslims are being treated badly and oppressed in Egypt??? By who?? By the peaceful Christianized Pagans? No! It is Muslims who treat badly and oppress Christianized Pagans in Egypt. In fact, in Islam oppression of non-Muslims originates from the false prophet Muhammad, who claimed to get it from his god/idol. Christianity is only a religious system; so, there should be no oppression of non-Christians by Christians because Christians are commanded to continue to follow the political system of non-Christians. Christians are more likely to be oppressed by non-Christians by following the political system of non-Christians and that is what happened for the first 300 years after the ascension of Jesus, the Word of God (i.e. the Son of God) in the flesh back to Yahweh God, the Father in heaven. Even Catholics (i.e. Christianized Pagans), who have existed since the 2nd Century if not earlier, were oppressed. Athanasius of Alexandria was a huge promoter of Catholicism (i.e. Christianized Paganism). Even before Catholicism became the state religion of the Roman Empire, Athanasius of Alexandria poisoned a Christian named Arius of Alexandria for teaching Christianity. After Catholicism became the state religion of the Roman Empire, Christians were renamed as Arians and killed as heretics until the 9th Century. Starting with the 10th Century, Catholics have adopted things from the political system of ORIGINAL Judaism. Oriental Orthodox “Christians” schismed from Catholicism. So, if there is a silent war brewing it is between Christianized Pagans and Muslims and not between Christians and Muslims.

  6. eslam

    after reading your post “A Glimpse – Short Story” that was recommended to me by a friend i proudly announce that i’m very glade that i met such a great person and will follow all your blogs from now on , (maybe have a look at the old ones when i have time”

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