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Egypt's Coptic philanthropist nominated for Nobel Prize

Visits to the garbage slums of Cairo transformed Magda Gobran — a businesswoman and an academic with a comfortable life — to Mama Maggie of the poor.

The philanthropist Magda Gobran, known as both Mama Maggie and Egypt’s Mother Teresa, is among the candidates nominated for the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize. Garnett Genuis, a conservative parliament member from Alberta, Canada, nominated the Egyptian Coptic Orthodox activist for serving “the poor and disadvantaged,” which he said she does “regardless of faith or ethnicity.”

“She works to cross widening divides and heal those who have been hurt,” Genuis said in the nomination letter on Jan. 23 to the Nobel Committee. The letter also gave compelling examples of the children helped by Mama Maggie's association, Stephen’s Children, such as Muslim Hawwa and Christian Anthony, both of whom faced poverty, discrimination and abuse. The letter also pointed out that Stephen’s Children, one of the largest charities in the region, gives equal compassion to people regardless of their religion at a time when violent acts of religious persecution are rising in Egypt.

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