Five U.S. Congressmen have sent a letter to the Nobel Peace Prize committee on behalf of a Coptic Christian ministry leader whose work caring for the city's poorest citizens in the slums of Cairo has brought her worldwide acclaim.
Congressmen Frank Wolf (R-Va.), Bill Huizenga (R-Mich.), Joseph Pitts (R-Penn.), Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.) and John Carter (R-Texas) sent the letter on behalf of Maggie Gobran, also known as "Mama Maggie." Gobran is often referred to as a current "Mother Teresa."
"Ms. Gobran is a woman of the utmost integrity and her tireless work has served thousands of Egyptian, including countless children," the letter reads. "It is through her deep religious and moral commitment that Mama Maggie has succeeded in creating an organization that serves the poor, desperate, and vulnerable population of Egypt."
Gobran's life has taken her from the comforts of a prominent middle income Egyptian family to one of serving people in the direst of all places. Early in her life she was a marketing manager and computer science professor at Cairo's American University.
But after visiting some of Cairo's poorest neighborhoods, her life was transformed. Soon afterward she founded Stephen's Children Ministry in 1989, helping Muslim and Christian children alike.
"I asked Him: 'How can you see a human being living in such conditions?'" Gobran said in a Church of England Newspaper interview. "Then later, when I was reading the Bible and waiting for God to talk to me, I felt that he was saying that it was my turn to do something about it."
"I couldn't believe that a human being could survive such conditions," continued Gobran. "They had no water. Can you imagine a young baby surviving without clean water? There were also no schools, no churches, and no health care."
In addition to helping the needy obtain the barest necessities for life, Gobran faces almost insurmountable odds on a daily basis. Fundamentalist Islamic groups are constantly attempting to disrupt her ministry's work, making it more challenging to serve Muslim children.
Stephen's Children's Ministry also provides literacy class for adults, community education, medical services and sports camps for children.
The Nobel prizes have been awarded for achievements in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature and peace since 1901 and is administered by the Nobel Foundation in Stockholm, Sweden.
Prominent winners of note include U.S. Presidents Barack Obama and Jimmy Carter, Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu.