On January 1st, 2011, a religious extremist set off a bomb outside of a Coptic Christian church in Alexandria, Egypt, killing 23 people. The world seemed to sigh, ‘Another example of Islamic extremism.’ And yet, few people heard about the vast numbers of Egyptian Muslims who attended and encircled Coptic Christmas Eve services across the country five days later–a remarkable display of interfaith unity.
As the year continued and Cairo’s Tahrir Square erupted in popular political protests, many Christians and Muslims collaborated to work together for common goals. During some of the demonstrations, members of both faiths could be seen forming protective rings around one another’s prayer gatherings in mutual expressions of solidarity. At other times, Muslims and Christians marched hand-in-hand, carrying crosses and Qur’ans, shouting ‘Muslims and Christians are One Hand.’
As the political landscape in Egypt, a trend-setting nation in the region, is being dramatically reshaped, many wonder what the future holds for Muslim-Christian relations there. One Hand is a documentary film project seeking to tell the inspiring stories of the Egyptian Muslims and Christians who are standing together in this crucial moment in Egyptian history, struggling to ensure a future founded on unity and equality.