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Coptic Christian 'Mama Maggie' Nominated for 2012 Nobel Peace Prize

Several Congressmen Nominate Egyptian for Work Among Nation's Poor

Mama Maggie Gobran
"Mama Maggie" Gobran is seen speaking to the audience at Willow Creek's 16th annual Leadership Summit in 2001.  |

Christian ministry leader "Mama Maggie" Gobran has been nominated for the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize by several members of the United States Congress for her selfless work offering aid and assistance to the impoverished people of Cairo's garbage slums.

Congressmen Frank Wolf, Bill Huizenga, Joseph Pitts, Robert Aderholt, and John Carter all signed a letter to the Norwegian Nobel Committee Council urging council members to consider "Mama Maggie" for the prestigious award. The deadline for nominations closed on Wednesday of last week.

"Ms. Gobran is a woman of the utmost integrity and her tireless work has served thousands of Egyptians, including countless children. She has given a voice to the poor," the letter to the Norwegian Nobel Committee read.

Gobran is the founder of Stephen's Children, a ministry based in Cairo dedicated to helping families living in Cairo's garbage slums, providing assistance to both Christian and Muslim children, and helping impoverished rural communities in Upper Egypt. She is referred to by locals as "Mama Maggie" and has been dubbed the "Mother Teresa of Cairo."

"It is through her deep religious and moral commitment that Mama Maggie has succeeded in creating an organization that serves the most poor, desperate, and vulnerable population of Egypt," the letter to the Norwegian peace committee read. "Clothed entirely in white, Mama Maggie is almost an angelic presence in Egypt's slums, embodying the virtues of generosity, gentleness and charity."

Stephen's Children has provided services to over 25,000 families in Egypt. In 2010 alone, Stephen's Children assisted communities through 80 clinics, 80 community education centers, 65 camps, and 5 vocational centers.

Projects are focused on providing health and educational services to neglected children of Cairo's garbage slums and other places of poverty in Egypt. Stephen's Children encourages impoverished communities to "experience love, build self worth, and seize hold of the hope that is found in Jesus Christ," according to the ministry's website.

Gobran herself is a Coptic Christian who grew up in a middle class family in Cairo – sheltered from the city's vast poverty and festering slums. Prior to finding her calling and devoting her life to the disadvantaged families of her native Egypt, Gobran was a successful marketing manager and distinguished computer science professor at the American University of Cairo

Gobran's path changed following a visit to Cario's slums where she was shocked to find children and families living in squalor and destitution. She said the experience made her question God until she realized her own calling to help those in need.

"You know, we don't choose where to be born, but we do choose either to be sinners or saints. To be nobody, or the heroes. If you want to be a hero, do what God wants you to do," the inspirational leader said this past August at the 2011 Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit.

At the summit the humble woman shared with the audience the story of her life and transition into becoming a charitable leader saying, "true love is to give and forgive, to give until it hurts."

The video below shows highlights from "Mama Maggie's" 2011 speech at the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit.

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