Memories of the Middle East
For the last four years, I have been working on documenting religious intolerance that manifests itself through discrimination and persecution of religious and ethnic minorities in Egypt. Since its inception, Eshhad has documented and mapped over 500 incidents in Egypt and is now expanding its work to Iraq and Syria. Through this, Eshhad is able to research, advocate, and litigate for the big vision: a world where all people can freely believe and practice their faith and cultural traditions.
This is my great passion. To fight against the sectarian nature fundamental to our fears as humans. To reject divisions of fear and instead cherish diversity and cultivate it in our homes and lives and surroundings. Both the work that I do in Eshhad and the work that I do in the legal field are built on the foundation of my faith. As a Christian, I believe that religious freedom is a core and fundamental right for all image-bearers, all people. Ultimately, my faith is behind all that I do and feeds my soul with an ability and a desire to keep going, despite the inevitable weariness that accompanies this type of work.
I am traveling this summer and as a result, am largely missing out on the many wonderful Ramadan activities in any of my communities. However, a few days ago as I was driving through North Carolina for a few days, I was invited to a wonderful iftaar where several Syrian refugees gathered to eat with their new Christian friends in the neighborhood and city. It was a beautiful time of fellowship, laughing, sharing of cultures and traditions, and unity. It brought me back to cherished memories when I was home in Egypt and Jordan and reminded me of how important the work is that Eshhad is moving towards.
Amira Mikhail’s reflection comes to the Parliament of the World’s Religions as part of the 2017 Interfaith Ramadan series, empowering interfaith allies, Muslim and those of other spiritual and religious backgrounds from around the world, to share their stories of service, community and gratitude during the month of Ramadan. Please contact the Parliament at info@ParliamentOfReligions.org, or tag us at #RamadanPoWR to share your own story.