Good news for Gabriel


This Christmas we are rejoicing for the birth of Gabriel the newborn of our son Joel and his wife Carla.

Since they live in California the best we can do is visit with them on Skype.

Even though my grandfather “Atallah” had four sons, it so happens that Gabriel is his only male descendent of that generation who will carry on his name!

It all began in 1900 when Atallah – who was a teacher at the Anglican Mission School in Cairo – married Nabiha, the daughter of Naoum Moghabghab, the Lebanese Principal of the School.

The car pictured here is that of Naoum driving some family members from Beirut (then in Syria) to Cairo to attend the wedding. 

That romance and eventual wedding united two families whose patriarchs were among the first Protestants in the Middle East.  Nabiha’s grandfather, Khalil Moghabghab, was the first ordained Presbyterian pastor in the Middle East.  Atallah’s father, Athanasious, was the first elder of the first Presbyterian Church in Assiut in southern Egypt (one of the oldest Presbyterian churches in Egypt).  In the Athanasious family picture you see him holding a Bible in his hand.  And in the Moghabghab family picture you see Naoum holding a Bible in his hand.  Not too many family pictures today have people holding Bibles.  It may not be a coincidence, therefore, that the Bible Society of Egypt is the main publisher of that Bible today.

I wonder if Gabriel will ever appreciate this heritage. I certainly had no idea of it as a child, teenager and young adult.  My self-identity until my mid-thirties was that I was the grandson and only male heir of my mother’s father, Joseph Kfoury, who was one of the wealthiest businessmen in Egypt.  His many businesses and properties were confiscated by the socialist Nasser regime in Egypt in the late fifties.  This caused us to escape Egypt as a family never expecting to return.  

When I came to a living faith in Christ, early in my time in Canada, I felt called to go back to Egypt to share the Gospel with my people.  At that time, and until much later, I had no idea of the rich Evangelical heritage I had through my father’s family.  I found out about my spiritual heritage mainly by reading books and articles on the history of the Presbyterian Church in Egypt and the Middle East.

I hope that Joel and I can share with Gabriel early on the story of his rich spiritual heritage so that he won’t have to read up about this good news in history books like I did.






9 thoughts on “Good news for Gabriel

  1. What a wonderful, Godly heritage to pass on to your descendants, Ramez! Many congratulations to Joel and Carla on the birth of their baby. We are delighted! Jill and Jack

  2. Thank you, Ramez, for sharing this wonderful historic message. It is amazing how God works faithfully in the lives of His people through the many generations.

    God bless Gabriel, Carla and Joel. He will be so grateful for your research. God bless you all and again, mabrouk Teta and Gueddou. I will cherish those photos and words about our grandfather.


  3. Congratulations, Ramez, and Rebecca. Wonderful to hear your story.David Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone on the Rogers network. From: Ramez AtallahSent: Thursday, December 26, 2013 7:24 AMTo: david@svensson.comReply To: Ramez AtallahSubject: [New post] Good news for Gabriel

    a:hover { color: red; } a { text-decoration: none; color: #0088cc; } a.primaryactionlink:link, a.primaryactionlink:visited { background-color: #2585B2; color: #fff; } a.primaryactionlink:hover, a.primaryactionlink:active { background-color: #11729E !important; color: #fff !important; }

    /* @media only screen and (max-device-width: 480px) { .post { min-width: 700px !important; } } */

    rameza posted: “This Christmas we are rejoicing for the birth of Gabriel the newborn of our son Joel and his wife Carla.Since they live in California the best we can do is visit with them on Skype.Even though my grandfather “Atallah” had four sons, it so happens that Gab”

  4. Thanks for sharing this. Congratulations to Joel & Carla and a warm welcome to Gabriel. I have fond memories of fellowshiping with the Lord’s people many times in First Presbyterian Church, Assiut and even preached there once. What an honour. Rev. John Hogg, a Scottish missionary born not 20 miles from where I am now, spent 20 years in Assiut based in that same church. His daughter wrote his biography, ‘Master Builder on the Nile’, an interesting account of aspects of the Evangelical (Presbyterian) church in Assiut around 140 years ago.

  5. Dear Ramez

    I read with great interest the very unique history of your family, of which I had known almost nothing until now. These historic pictures, with the Bibles, are indeed of great value and very unusual coincidence. Thank you for sharing this information. As you see, despite the late hour I read it through immediately. Accept my congratulations on the birth of Joel – may the Lord bless him and may he also learn to value this family history and give honour to it as you have done!

    very best Christmas wishes to you all! Jim

  6. From Don & Julia Flumerfelt — Congratulations Grandpa. May young Joel be filled with the spirit of his Biblical counterpart. It is wonderful to see these early historic pictures and to realize that the Word has become flesh and dwelt among us and that the promise of His living Word abides. Many blessings to you and your family from Canadian friends who pray.

  7. What a wonderful spiritual heritage for Gabriel. He is already blessed by being born to a family of faith, and I am sure the Lord will see to it that he will continue in, and will carry on the tradition of his parents, grandparents, great grandparents…Mabrouk to you for this wonderful new addition to your illustrious family. Sincerely, Hoda (from CPPC)

    Date: Thu, 26 Dec 2013 12:23:57 +0000 To:

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