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Saturday, March 17, 2012

Nuns Traumatized after School Attack in Egypt

By Jeremy Reynalds
Senior Correspondent for ASSIST News Service

CAIRO, EGYPT (ANS) -- Two nuns in Upper Egypt faced “unimaginable fear” – with one later hospitalized over emotional trauma. That was when 1,500 Muslim villagers wielding swords and knives trapped them inside a guesthouse last week and threatened to burn them out.

According to a story by Compass Direct News, the next day the atackers frightened children at the school. Attendance has since dropped by more than a third.

Accusing the nuns of building a church at the site, the crowd on March 4 chanted Islamic slogans as they surrounded the guesthouse of a privately run, public school in the village of Abu Al-Reesh, in Aswan Province.

Compass said two nuns, volunteer teachers at Notre Dame Language Schools, barricaded themselves into the school’s guesthouse for about eight hours. The women were “terrified,” said Magdy Melad, director of the school.

School workers hid a third nun from the mob in a separate building on the campus out of fear that the mob would attack her as well.

Compass said from three mosques near the school, people began shouting over loudspeakers in minarets, telling more Muslims to surround the guesthouse.

Compass said the two nuns suffered cuts and bruises in the attack, and one fainted during the ordeal. The women were taken to a Catholic church in Aswan, except for one, who suffered what Melad characterized as a “major” nervous breakdown. She had to be transported on March 8 to Cairo, where she was hospitalized.

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Jeremy Reynalds is Senior Correspondent for the ASSIST News Service, a freelance writer and also the founder and CEO of Joy Junction, New Mexico's largest emergency homeless shelter, He has a master's degree in communication from the University of New Mexico, and a Ph.D. in intercultural education from Biola University in Los Angeles. His newest book is "Homeless in the City."

Additional details on "Homeless in the City" are available at Reynalds lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico. For more information contact: Jeremy Reynalds at

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