President, along with religious, military and int’l dignitaries, witnessed the ceremony to inaugurate Nativity of Christ Cathedral and Al-Fattah Al-Alim Mosque. As a true launch of the New Administrative Capital, both Copts and Muslims prayers marked the significant unity of Egyptians against all challenges and the ideal foundation for moving towards realizing our dream for a better and peaceful future to all Egyptians.
El-Sisi welcomed Egypt’s guests from Arab and foreign countries attending the Christmas celebration at the Nativity of the Christ Cathedral.
The president then saluted the Egyptians who sacrificed their lives for their country.
“I want to say that this moment is very important in our history, because when I was at St Mark’s Cathedral a year ago, I told the pope that we would be celebrating the completion of the mosque and the cathedral, and here we are standing together with the promise fulfilled.” “This occasion is a message that we will not allow anybody to come between us, and I do not like to use the term sectarian strife because Muslims and Christians in Egypt are one, and will stay one,” El-Sisi said.
“This occasion represents a tree of love which we have planted together, but this tree still needs attention and care so that its fruit reaches from Egypt to the whole world,” El-Sisi said.
“In 2013, when many churches were attacked, the pope said at the time that “a country without churches is better than churches without a country,” I will not forget these words from Pope Tawadros,” the president said.
“These words preserved our country and enabled us not only to repair what was damaged, but to build new 14 cities and mega projects,” the president said.
“On this happy occasion I must stress that Egyptians should take care of their country with awareness and alertness.” “Merry Christmas and happy New Year to all Egyptians. Long live Egypt.”
The head of Al-Azhar – the world’s foremost institute of Sunni Islamic learning – Sheikh Ahmed El-Tayeb said that this is a momentous occasion, as it is the first time in history that a mosque and a church are built and inaugurated at the same time.
Speaking after the president, El-Tayeb said that “this is the embodiment of the soul of brotherhood and love.”.
The grand Imam stressed that Egypt’s Coptic community and their churches have been both built and protected since the arrival of Islam.
Following the President’s tour and Pope Tawadros II’s comments, El-Sisi, Palestinian President Abbas, the head of Al-Azhar Sheikh Ahmed El-Tayyeb, as well as other state officials and Muslim clerics prayed Al-Ishaa prayer headed by Imam Osama El-Azhari at Al-Fattah Al-Alim mosque.
“This is a day of joy as we see our beloved country write a new page in the history of civilisation,” Pope Tawadros II said at the mosque’s inauguration.
Pope Tawadros said at the inauguration of Al-Fattah Al-Alim Mosque “As an Egyptian citizen, I am happy to stand in the mosque to celebrate its opening with my Muslim brothers.”
Addressing President El-Sisi, Pope Tawadros II said, “We thank you Mr President and all the companies, engineers, and workers who contributed to the completion of these great projects,” Pope Tawadros II said. The pope also extended special thanks to the Egyptian Armed Forces and the army’s Engineering Authority for completing these projects in such a short time frame.
“We pray for our unity to continue as the world witnesses such tolerance and love in our country, God bless you all, long live Egypt,” the pope concluded.