BY NADA YASSER
The late Pope Shenouda III was mourned by the AUC community, on Sunday March 18, in a memorial service organized by the Student Union (SU); the event took place at the Plaza.
The service attracted many people; it started with a moment of silence for the deceased. The event, even though was on short notice, was attended by at least 50 people. The attendees sang hymns in Arabic. These hymns were followed by a small speech given by Student Union President, Ahmed Alaa.
“Pope Shenouda was a very respectable man,” said Alaa in memory of the late pope. He also expressed hope that “the next pope… realizes the huge responsibility that he will have.”
Marina Beshay, one of the attendees commented about the service saying, “it was a very good idea … because he was more than a religious symbol, but also a national symbol [sic].”
The service had a common theme, which was the message of love that the pope sent to everyone.
“I am very proud of him,” commented Fady Adel, one of the speakers of the service, on the late pope. He added that, “he’s where he wanted to be all his life. We may be saddened by losing him, but inside us we need to be happy; he’s finally where he wanted to be.”
“I felt the love here today. When I see us standing together in times like this, I thank God and I thank those who attended,” commented Ingie Zayit, a computer science major. It was very clear how much the pope was loved by all, through the sentiment that was present by those who attended the service. Zayit commented saying, “he always loved everyone. His acceptance by both Muslims and Christians is the biggest testament to that.”
The most common theme amongst all those who talked was the Pope’s message of love and his ability to spread it amongst all Egyptians, no matter their religion. Bassem Rafaat, an organizer of the event, told The Independent, “we should pray to God that the next Pope would continue spreading this message of love.”
The message resonated with several people as well. Beshay commented saying, “the message of love reached us, because there was [sic] Muslims attending as well, and the SU president came and sat through the whole event.” Others also remembered him for more than the message of love.
“The best thing that he left us was the lesson of forgiveness, even in the time of political uncertainty where there were many people protesting against him, he held no grudge and still talked about forgiveness, which is something we can all learn from him,” explained Beshay
“[His Holiness] was well known for his humor and his constant smile, which is something we all need to learn from him,” added Beshay.