Anne Zaki and her husband, Naji Umran, have begun an innovative approach to ministry in the culturally rich, politically dynamic country of Egypt.
Zaki and her husband came to the United States in 2002 to attend Calvin Theological Seminary. Anne had graduated from Calvin College. After graduation from CTS, they served Christian Reformed churches in Grand Rapids, Mich., and in British Columbia.
Anne Zaki and Naji Umran and their family are back in Egypt.
Anne and Naji have returned to Egypt at a crucial moment.
“There is an urgency to us going back, especially after the overthrow of the Mubarak government,” said Zaki. Protesters asking for more freedom earlier this year forced Hosni Mubarak, Eygpt’s president, to end his 30-year rule. “Elections will be coming up and, for the first time in a long time, Christians could have a voice in the government.”
Zaki will teach at a seminary and work with the Christian community, while Naji Umran, who is Canadian, begins a ministry creating dialogue between Christians and Muslims.
“We will be speaking about Reformed culture, which teaches us to be very active agents for change in the world. That is a beneficial learning to take with us,” Zaki says.
Peter VanderMeulen, director of the CRC’s Office of Social Justice, says he is encouraged by the type of work Zaki and Umran will be doing in the heart of a country that experiences all the tensions and opportunities that exist for building relationships between Christians and Muslims in the Middle East.
“Anne is a wonderful, brilliant, and energetic person of faith,” VanderMeulen says. “We are very fortunate that she and her husband will be working right there on the ground.”