ISIS’ continued attacks on Coptic Christians in El-Arish have scattered Christians throughout North Sinai, including Port Said. Unfortunately, Christians have not found Port Said to be a safe haven. Reports suggest that Christians are living in cramped, dirty quarters. There is little food and even less of a response from the government. Initially, the government assured them that there would be support for the fleeing Christians, but nothing has happened. For many Christians, the only source of help they have found is the church.
2017-05-16 Egypt (Egypt Independent) – Coptic families displaced from North Sinai to Port Said have issued a statement on their living situations after leaving their hometown.
“We are the families displaced from al-Arish to Port Said in February. We are living inside small rooms inside the youth camps and the aid building. We are suffering and none of the officials or the Port Said governor will listen to us. At the beginning of the crisis, we headed to Ismailia governorate. Port Said welcomed us and the governor promised to offer support. The number of families who came continued to increase,” the statement read.
“As time passed, 28 families remained in the camps and aid buildings. Three months passed without any attention from the government or officials in Port Said. The governor then declared that there was a lack of residential houses to transfer the families to, in addition to a lack to jobs, which forced the martyr Nabil Saber to return to Arish, where he was killed — a message to every Copt thinking about returning,” it added.
The families then addressed the prime minister wondering: “Where are the promises and the concern directed to us at the beginning of the crisis? Where is the confirmation on caring for the families? Are we going to remain in these small rooms in the youth camps? Will we continue to be neglected unless the media highlights the crisis?”
“We are only receiving support from the church, which plays the role of the state toward Egyptian citizens.”