MIKHA’IL ‘ABD-AL-SAYYID, noted nineteenth-century teacher of English in the Coptic College founded by CYRIL IV. He is one of three Copts who under concealed identity were admitted to al-Azhar, the oldest Islamic university in Cairo. There he studied Arabic language and literature.
More significant in his career was his founding in 1877 of the Coptic daily newspaper al-Watan. This was a forum in which the Copts expressed their views, not only on Coptic matters but also on national problems of constitutional importance. One of the burning discussions of the day was the parliamentary representation of the Copts as a special group. Though the subject was not accepted for inclusion in the constitution, the role of al-Watan in the discussion was remarkable. Al-Watan ceased publication as a Coptic organ in 1930.
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