• Inappropriate to prosecuting a fee to publish an Obituary, bordering on immoral.
• The idea of contributing to a project that has no religious value is contrary to the indigenous collective mind of the Egyptian people.
• Memory of the great is not only kept through awards or memorial ceremonies, but it is kept in their deeds.
• Switzerland Offered Abadir a “safe” chance of success.
• Leadership is earned through good deeds and not by seeking to acquire it.
• In the West, the Church is not the institution defining or dictating the political activity of individuals.
• Copts United is Abadir’s "plant" that will continue to grow bearing his name.
• There is an unjustified barrier between some and "Copts United".
• Abadir was typical of the true, untainted Egyptian.
“Copts United" and its late founder, Mr. Adly Abadir had a positive impact on each individual that ever joined the team. It was through its pages that space was allowed for those who seek to distinguish themselves in the media. From here emerged the names of young journalists given a chance to success without being hindered for their youth and inexperience, and they grew big; for five years, many were offered a golden chance of success. After the untimely departure of Mr. Adly Abadir, the founder and father, “Copts United" went into a transition phase that is opportune for the enemies of success to brandishing swords edged with hatred and dripping with black lies, ill-wishing that the end is close to the successful offspring. In response to these, and to clarify the position of “Copts United” I had this meeting with the chief editor Mr. Ezzat Bouless.
** Could you describe your last meeting with the late Mr. Adly Abadir?
Ezzat Bouless: Last I saw Mr. Abadir was one day before his death in a hospital in Zurich. It was as with every other meeting I had with him, rich and deep. His mind was as vivid and conscious of everything going on around him as ever. He kept following-up all that is published in – or about - "Copts United". He also offered his views and opinions in a strong manner that always had me amazed by the strength of this man and his contributions to life; it was impossible to think that that man lying there in that hospital bed would depart life in a few hours.
In that last meeting, Heaven awarded Abadir for his life work by a message I conveyed to him which he received with satisfaction and happiness; as one of the many satellite channels – which one I do not remember specifically – broadcasted a dialogue with Dr. Mustafa Fiqi, Chairman of Arab Affairs Committee, the People's Assembly in which he directly and clearly admitted that Mr. Abadir struggle to achieve full citizenship for the Copts was fair. This strengthen my opinion that the author Abadir presentation of the Coptic Issue had finally found fair judgment from men that are in high and critical positions in the Egyptian regime.
** Abadir lived for many years in Switzerland and you also, what are the different forms of communication between you and what did you benefit from working with him directly?
Before the actual work for "Copts United" the relationship between us was restricted to various meetings from time to time to talk about some matters relating to the Coptic Church in "Zurich" as members of the same Parish. This remained the case until 2004, when Abadir organized and held the first convent [to discuss the Coptic Issue in Egypt]. Since then we became very close that he virtually changed the course of my life from engineering to journalism with all the vivacity and dynamism generating from the interaction with live individuals, not dead-silent hardware. By virtue of working I grew closer to the man to discover that his mind power carries a high degree of self-confidence. This made it easy for him to transform his thoughts to deeds regardless of the reactions that may be opposed to him; truly enough his opponents with time realized the value and authenticity of what he did because his multi-dimensional mind served his decisions right to a large extent.
Abadir was frank and did not know dodge however shocking or painful the truth may be, which is clearly attributed also to his self-confidence and strong personality. He was a great judge of character, always capable of promoting the strengths of those who work with or for him to the benefit of the project whatever that may be; he’d used to tell me: “look in the eyes of those you talk to, and you’ll see through them to the core”.
On the other hand, away from work, Abadir is characterized by a great love of life, and to continue to function vigorously until eighty years of age is proof of that. In addition to this he is humble to the nth degree and this was a golden gateway to the hearts and minds of many who have dealt with him and came to appreciate how sensitive he was to others and how he went out of his way to help them through crises. Abadir was a “giver”; not an easy virtue to acquire and hold on to because it contradicts the natural selfish love of possession, which disadvantages are granted to us by our human nature first, well before the environment in which we grow. Undeniably, Abadir was passionate about his work which he dedicated most of his time and his spirit to, setting an example that motivated all those who worked with him and enflamed in them a very strong desire and dedication to the service objective commanded by a person such as Abadir.
**What did Egypt contribute to Adly Abadir, and then Switzerland in turn?
Abadir was typical of the true, untainted Egyptian; an Egyptian who has a great love for everyone regardless of social status or religious affiliation, modest, full of life, happy at its pleasures and durable through sadness and depression. Abadir always was proud of his birth place and used to say to everyone "I am Egyptian to the core."
In my opinion, Switzerland granted Abadir a “safe” chance of success as opposed to the trials he went through in Egypt, but did not contribute to his personal qualities. He’d already had the Swiss characteristics in the rigor and respect for the value of work and life, and thus there were not a problem of amalgamation for Abadir within the Swiss society.
**After the death of Mr. Abadir, it was expected by some the announcement of a "Tribute" given to the late, an award in his name and the like? I even remember that they questioned why not broadcast the memorial service and funeral by the Copts United?
Funeral services are strictly a family affair, and according to the concepts of Swiss society such moments are not portrayed in public; there is no point in recording moments of grief then restore it from time to therefore we did not cover the events for Copts United.
As for "tribute", this is purely an Egyptian custom where we honor our loved ones or great figures of society after their departure, while neglecting them when they are alive, as we need to remember them. That does not apply to Mr. Abadir. He is alive in our hearts with his positive influence in our lives and our personalities. He’ll always remain in the arena of the Egyptian media through "Copts United", which was and still is and will continue to carry the thought of eternity to the memory of its founder.
** There are sporadic rumors that "Copts United" will not last long after the departure of its founder, can you comment on that?
As you put it, these are merely hearsay and unfounded; the final say, "Copts United Electronic” will continue because its founder wanted that before his departure; she is not made of thin air to simply disappear. Thus, it is one of the most important projects of the human rights organization founded by Abadir, Switzerland, under the name "Copts" and that work was in keeping with institutional rules of the age, not years of individuals.
I would like to draw your attention to the fact that for almost a year before Mr. Abadir’s departure he delegated the task of operational work with the "Copts" to his daughter Dr. Magda, and has been following her performance. This was a stroke of genius of him as it provided training for an entire group to take responsibility for the "plant" he laid with all the love and wanted it to continue; it will continue, God willing.
** But for the "Copts United" electronic newspaper to appear in its current form, there are a number of editors and administrators, is rather costly; how will you manage the financials? Have you thought of searching for ads?
It is very costly, no doubt, and more so as we are upgrading the technology we use, and seek to include more reporters and editors in the governorates of Egypt.
In our attempt to gather material support for the continuation we adopt two ways: the foremost via the announcement of acceptance of all forms of material support to the Foundation "Copts", Switzerland; however, unfortunately, we’ve been granted only "pennies" so to speak and this I do not understand. We offer a distinguished and sophisticated service and everyone is benefiting from it then why are we not equally supported financially to allow us to continue?!
"Copts United” is a Journal for all Egyptians as we emphasize in our logo, in our editorial, in every area where we can express ourselves trying to explain that the term "Coptic" means Egyptian and not particularly a Christian. But some who do not read for us sing the same words repeated again and again that we are "sectarian" and then affect our ability to obtain ads as we deserve and merit.
I hope I do not draw a too pessimistic portray of the possibility that we can get ads which we need for the financial support of the paper; I just read into reality impartially hoping to get the ads and looking for appropriate mechanisms to do so.
** Published by the site a number of death announcements and social functions, why there is no fee for publication?
I do not think it is appropriate to demand a fee for publishing an obituary of a deceased person, or congratulate another on marriage and the like.
I think it is important to change the Egyptian mentality. The monetary contributions of many just go under the framework of religious understanding to help, "Zakat, tithing"; not many donate money to support a value, a service, or project that is not linked to a clerical body.
I hope to find in the future Egyptians supporting ideals and values to the advantage of their country and/or their personal intellectual as it happens in the West; individuals there are making their organizations successful through their collective efforts to achieve a value or a goal they believe in.
** How do you read into the future of the Coptic organizations, especially that you are editor in chief of "The Copts United," the herald of the most important Coptic organizations in Europe founded by the late Adly Abadir?
Coptic organizations in the land of the Diaspora, like other human rights organizations, were fraught with emergence problems as the founders were in confusion in regards to the mechanisms of the work flow; this happened in the past as activists in the different Coptic institutions disagreed on the assessment of several points such as would one contact government figures to present our point of view or not? Do we engage the Church in our vision or is it better for them to remain a religious institution only? Do we establish branches of human rights organizations in Egypt?
Of course with different answers to those questions, the first phase was marred with differences between these activists even to the point of rift. Now the situation has changed as the effort matured and so did the thinking of the activists. Everyone now believed that the effort is enriched with different visions to become integrated; there are no longer differences worth mentioning in the methods of work.
** Coptic Congress .... European Alliance of Coptic organizations .... are different Coptic communities so to speak that include under its banner a number of existing stand-alone organizations; can this be foreseen as the beginning of a new era of conflict between the leaders in the Diaspora pursuing usually conflict with each other? If there is a worthy leadership would you name one?
Union is strength, as they say. It is good for the Coptic organizations to unite under the banner of a more general idea to achieve a common goal through partnership in thought and action; this is to be commended, and evaluated at the same time so as not to have a mere assembly without result.
The idea of "worthy leadership" in my opinion not only reflects the thinking in the East- specific to it really - and inherited from the Nasser era: the inspired leader and the “man”, and other concepts, but also is a way of thinking that reflects a “Flock culture". No offense is intended, I was merely stating a fact.
Leadership in my opinion is not a goal in itself in the sense that no time and effort is dedicated in order to get the title of "leader" but we work and strive, and give for the ideals, values, and issues we believe in as did the late Adly Abadir.
**What is the real relationship between the Church and Copts in the Diaspora? Is there coordination between the Church and the Coptic Diaspora in organizing those demonstrations abroad, i.e., did the Church have an organization role in that process?
Church for a Coptic Diaspora is a spiritual place to perform religious rituals. The clergy in the West are aware of the significance of the Church to the Coptic; they understand fully the climate of freedom guaranteed by Western societies for all its citizens without exception, therefore they understand the motives behind the peaceful demonstrations by the Copts even though sometimes the clergy do not agree with some of the content or otherwise.
In the West, the Church is not the institution defining or dictating the political activity of individuals even if they are the members of the parish, therefore we cannot define a certain political role to the church as that is not her function.
The basic right of peaceful and civilized expression of opinion – even if for the people to voice their rejection – was not understood in Egypt and was met unfavorably by the media, even was ill-treated by some “intellectuals” – or so they are called – to the extent of such a low description as that of Mr. Ahmed Kamal Abul-Magd "Obsession".