Thursday 30th August, 2018 marked a new turn in Egypt’s political history as President Abdel-Fattah alSissi swore in 21 new Provincial Governors, including the first female Governor from the country’s minority Christian Community.
As reported by al-Masry al-Youm, a private newspaper in Egypt, Manal Mikhail has been appointed governor of the coastal city of Damietta, becoming the first-ever Christian woman to hold such a position.
The 51-year-old Mikhail was the former deputy governor of Giza, home to the world-famous pyramids.
In the Middle East, Egypt has the largest Christian community accounting for around 10 per cent of the country’s mostly Muslim population of 95 million.
Egypt’s Christians have long complained of persecution and Islamist attacks.
President Al-Sissi, a Muslim, is popular among the country’s Christians, who backed his ouster of Islamist president Mohammed Morsi following Mass Street protests against his divisive rule.
Al-Sissi has courted the Christian community to an extent unseen for decades, visiting the main Coptic Orthodox cathedral in Cairo on several occasions since he took office in 2014.
Led by al-Sissi’s backers, the parliament, in 2016, approved a long-awaited law aimed at easing restrictions on building churches.