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A whole village of children still sit at home in Sheikh Shebeka, even after several months.

It all started in a nearby village called Nazlet Badraman where the children attend elementary school. A notorious gangster called Ali Hussein turned his sights on a Christian mother of two named Hiyam. Many trembled.

“I’m going to take her home as my bride, unless you pay me a million pounds by October 14.”

Hiyam’s family managed to smuggle her out in time. Her brother Ephrem stayed at the house to confront Hussein.

Hussein told his gang to wait outside, and come in if they hear gunfire. Inside, he found Ephrem. Hussein demanded: “Give me Hiyam.” Ephrem refused.

Outside, a gunshot rang.

Immediately, Hussein’s men burst through the door, shooting at everything and everyone in sight. In the aftermath, three lay dead: Ephrem’s unarmed 61-year old father, Ephrem, and Hussein himself. “The Christians killed Hussein,” Hussein’s gang shouted.

Hussein’s men, backed by the village mosque, vowed to kidnap other Christian girls to avenge his death. Naturally, the mothers of Sheikh Shebeka didn’t want to see their children become the next victims.

That’s how today, those Sheikh Shebeka children are still waiting to go back to school, just as Hiyam is still in hiding.

Coptic Orphans has arranged in-home tutoring for these children, and are doing the utmost to make sure that they
get the education that they need. Yet school attendance is a crucial piece still missing, another casualty and the continuing legacy of Hussein’s madness.

I know that many of you are concerned. You’ll ask: how can we help?

By supporting our programs, sponsors and other donors help us bring tutors to Sheikh Shebeka. While there are constant crises like this one throughout Egypt these days, we are always ready because you stand firm by the children.