The Big Pharaoh
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Sunday, December 12, 2004

A story with many stories!

The story of the Christian woman Wafaa Costantine ended with the Christian clergy holding a press conference to thank President Mubarak (who else?!) for his help and to reassure the demonstrators that the woman is now with members of the clergy. They provided no clue as to what really happened but they did mention that Wafaa did not marry her Muslim boss and she is still a Christian.

Now, what really happened? Was Wafaa kidnapped and "forced to convert"? Was she blackmailed to convert to Islam? or Did she willingly want to convert? I'll say something that very few Egyptians like to say: I Don't Know.

Like everything in Egypt, rumors are all what I got to tell you. Every "camp" has a different story to tell:

The Christians insist that Wafaa was kidnapped, like other Christian girls/women, and forced to convert. Others claim that she was blackmailed/threatened by her Muslim boss. A Christian friend told me that Wafaa spoke a lot, as a wife of a priest, against the issue of luring/kidnapping/blackmailing young Christian girls into marrying Muslim men. He added that they (i.e Muslims) wanted to take revenge from her.

The Muslim camp has a completely different story. "See how this infidel government handed a Muslim woman to the Christians. They will torture her in their monastery" someone told me. "She chose the right path. They are angry" another one added. Some even think that Wafaa was videotaped while having sex with her Muslim lover and that tape was used to blackmail her. Her husband, a priest, had his two legs amputated because of diabetes and so his wife went shopping for another guy.

The third camp, composed of both Muslims and Christians, simply do not know what happened and want to live in peace and harmony.

I'm sure we will never hear from Wafaa. The government will force her to keep an extremely low profile lest she speaks out and her story, whatever it may turn out to be, will only add fuel to the fire.



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