The tour covered the stated areas, but it would be better to have a Coptologist leading the tour to avoid filtering the narrative through the lens of Islam. Coptic history predates Islam of course and reversing the direction of influence could cause confusion for someone who doesn't know much about the history of Christianity in the region. Further, a Coptologist could provide a more detailed history of each site. In several instances we felt the tour guide could have had more precise answers or described the significance of certain artifacts beyond the captions listed under the objects themselves. For example, the distinctions between Coptic coffins and trunks to hold robes, hats, and other religious clothing. Also, the difference between a confessional and a storage space in the Coptic church. Do Copts have confessionals? And the circumstances in which new testament bibles were found. The Hanging Church was amazing and has a tremendous history behind it that is more interesting than the foundation less design of the building itself. Spending more time on the relics, designs, and icons, in the church would have been helpful. She was otherwise a pleasure to spend time with and certainly knows quite a bit about the history of Islam in Egypt and collaboration between Muslims and Copts (a timely reminder). I would love to take a tour of Islamic Cairo with her and no doubt others would enjoy it as well.
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