One year ago, autocratic ruler Hosni Mubarak resigned after a series of successful protests known as the “25 January Egyptian Revolution.” Messiah College graduate Matthew Bucher ‘06 experienced this tension first-hand during his four years of peace-building work in Egypt, and he echoes the cries of Egyptian people that their movement toward peace and democracy is far from over.
Bucher’s passion for service began during his years at Messiah as a history education major with a peace and conflict studies minor. “After participating with a short-term Christian Peacemaker Teams delegation to Israel/Palestine as a part of my peace studies minor, I knew I wanted to return to the Middle East,” Bucher explained.
From July 2007-May 2011, Bucher served with the Mennonite Central Committee in the Coptic Orthodox Diocese in ll-Qosseya, Egypt. Bucher’s responsibilities while living in what he explains was the “hub of all church-activity in town” included preparing and leading peace-building workshops and teaching English courses to Muslims and Christians. “In both programs, we emphasized relationship building and sought nonviolent strategies to solving conflicts,” he said.
Bucher attributes his preparedness for his service assignment to his education at Messiah. “Whether thinking historically while reading Egyptian history, employing pedagogical strategies while teaching English as a second language or preparing trauma healing workshops, I noted many times how formed I was from my time at Messiah,” Bucher said. (more…)