A break from Egyptian elections to visit the Monastery of St Bishoy (Pishoy), where the late Coptic Pope Shenouda was buried in March 2012. Egyptian Christians were arriving in coach loads to see the body.

This place has not escaped attack in the past. Following the revolution last year, the army attacked this monastery, causing injuries to some and arresting others. Post-revolution Egypt is an uncertain place for Copts, who make up around 5 to 10% of the population. Their religious freedoms and rights are being side-lined, by an Islamic majority in Parliament and the possibility of an incoming Muslim Brotherhood President.

Yet, this reminder of discrimination is not present during out visit. The atmosphere is one of a family day out with children running everywhere and queues forming to see where the coffin lies. These photos show something of the monastery where visitors were relaxed, friendly and welcoming.

A full article and photo essay was developed from this post for The Arab Review.

Resting place of Pope Shenouda

Ceiling decorations

A father carries his child from the dark burial room out to the main church.

A man pauses beside signs directing visitors around the Monastery.

A friendly family approach us to speak and take photos.

Two beautiful little girls ask to be friends.

A boy watches us from afar.

Crosses on towers and gates.