How Jewish Mother, Christian Father And Muslim Daughters Live Together In Egypt

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While religious differences are leading to deadly outcomes around the world, from Islamophobic hate crimes in the West to the murder of Christians in Egypt, a family in the latter is rising above such differences and teaching the world a lesson in coexistence.

The family consists of a Jewish mother, a Christian step-father, and two Muslim daughters, all living under the same roof.

The mother, Magda Haroun, head of the Jewish community in Egypt, explained how the family came about in a recent interview with Al-Hurra TV.

The family is the only one of its kind in the country to have believers of three different religions living together, according to Haroun.

Haroun said she had married a Muslim man and gave birth to two Muslim daughters, before going on to marry a Catholic Christian doctor.

Her Christian husband has since been living with her and her daughters, whom he has played a big role in raising.

When asked whether their religious diversity has caused any problems among the family members, Haroun said, “Not at all. Otherwise, it [the family] would not have been formed.”

She went on to say that everyone in the family shares the same mentality and way of thinking.

“My daughters have been raised to respect a human as a human,” she explained, adding that she had taught her daughters to read the Quran, the Muslim holy book. “They didn’t know Arabic when we first came to Egypt.”

So, how do they celebrate religious holidays?

In my family, we celebrate all holidays,” said Haroun, adding that they decorate their house both during Ramadan and Christmas. 

For the Day of Atonement, the holiest day of the year in Judaism, the family gathers with Muslim and Christian childhood friends at Haroun’s mother’s house.

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The family members don’t shy away from discussing their religious differences and often engage in peaceful debates “to get to know more about each other.”

Concerning people’s reactions to the unusual family, Haroun said those around them have gotten used to the diversity, while strangers naturally express their surprise and ask questions.

“My message is simple: our creator is one,” she concluded the interview by saying. “Our diversity is our wealth.”

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