A prominent prophet in Islam, Christianity, and the Baháʼí Faith among other Abrahamic religions, Moses is also the most important prophet in Judaism. One of the most important biblical characters, Moses received the Ten Commandments from God on Mount Sinai. The Ten Commandments are fundamental to both Christianity and Judaism. The authorship of the Torah is also attributed to Moses.
Hebrew leader Joshua led the Israelite tribes after Moses’s death. He finds mention in the Book of Joshua in the Old Testament. He played a major role in conquering Canaan after the Exodus. Apart from Christianity, Joshua is also significant in Islam and Islamic literature.
Catherine of Alexandria is a Christian saint who was martyred at the hands of the Roman Emperor Maxentius in the early 4th century. Catherine is generally credited with converting hundreds of people to Christianity. Over 1,100 years after her martyrdom, French warrior Joan of Arc claimed that Catherine was one of the saints to counsel her in her visions.
Anthony the Great is revered as the patron saint of diseases for miraculously healing people of ailments such as ergot poisoning, which came to be known as St. Anthony's Fire. Known widely as the Father of Monasticism, he had spent 20 years in isolation in the Thebaid desert.
Athanasius of Alexandria was the 20th bishop of Alexandria. A well-known Egyptian leader of the 4th century, Athanasius' career was shaped by his conflicts with Arius and successive Roman emperors. He is venerated as a saint and his feast day is observed on different days depending upon the various churches.
Sayyid Qutb was an Egyptian educator, author, Islamic theorist, revolutionary, and poet. During the 1950s and 1960s, Qutb was an important member of the Society of the Muslim Brothers. Sayyid Qutb is regarded as the Father of Salafi-Jihadism, a transnational religious-political ideology that forms the basis of several Jihadist organizations, such as Daesh and Al Qaeda.
Pope Tawadros II of Alexandria is the 118th and current pope of Alexandria and patriarch of the See of St. Mark. He became leader of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria succeeding late Pope Shenouda III. He began his papacy amidst several changes in Egypt and supported the 2013 Egyptian coup d'état that deposed Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi.
Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah reigned as the 6th caliph of the Egyptian Shiʿi Fatimid dynasty. Known for being eccentric, he once ordered all dogs in his kingdom to be killed, and on another occasion, banned shellfish. He was also known for his cruelty and his persecution of Sunni Muslims, Jews, and Christians.
The last pharaoh of the 5th dynasty, Unas was the first ruler to adorn the Saqqara pyramid interiors with what came to be known as Pyramid Texts. The texts on his tomb suggest various scenes, such as a famine, a campaign against the Bedouins, and trade with Palestine and Syria.
Egyptian religious leader Pope Shenouda III led the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria. Initially known as Nazeer, he was a lecturer in biblical studies and later took his religious vows in a desert, assuming the name Antonious El-Syriani. He became Shenouda after being made a bishop.
Pachomius the Great is best remembered for establishing Christian cenobitic monasticism and is known as one of the Desert Fathers or Desert Monks. Initially part of the Roman Emperor Constantine’s army in North Africa, he later became a hermit. He also became the first Christian monk to lay down written rules.
Once the Grand Mufti of Egypt, Ali Gomaa has been a highly respected Islamic scholar and jurist. He has been a professor at the Al-Azhar University and been part of the Fatwa Council. He is also a member of the International Islamic Fiqh Academy and has penned several books.
Egyptian pharaoh of the 3rd dynasty, Khaba was probably the son of Sekhemkhet, whom he succeeded. Some scholars believe Khaba was another name for pharaoh Huni, while Manetho mentions 3 rulers between Sekhemkhet and Huni. Khaba is believed to have built the layer pyramid, though he was not buried in it.
Pope Alexander I of Alexandria was the 19th Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria. Alexander faced three major issues during his patriarch term, which included the dating of Easter, the matter and actions of Meletius of Lycopolis, and the issue of Arianism. Alexander remained the leader of opposition to Arianism at the First Council of Nicaea convened by Roman Emperor Constantine I.
Al-Mustansir Billah was one of the longest-reigning Islamic rulers. A Fāṭimid caliph, he also faced several significant setbacks during his rule, which included a chaotic situation in Syria and loss of territories in North Africa. He later pacified Armenian general-dictator Badr al-Jamālī by getting his son to marry Badr’s daughter.
Severus of Antioch was a miaphysite leader and the Patriarch of Antioch. Initially a monk in Palestine, Severus was later made a priest and propagated the view that Christ’s human and divine natures were, in fact, one and the same. He also led the Coptic churches in Egypt and Syria.
George of Cappadocia, backed by Eusebian faction at Constantinople, became the intruding Arian bishop of Alexandria, marking him as the controversial successor of his opponent Bishop Athanasius the Great of Alexandria, whom Roman emperor Constantius II banished from Alexandria for attacking Arianism. George, an extreme Arian, persecuted and plundered the orthodox and pagan and was eventually murdered by an Alexandrian mob.
Egyptian-born George Selim Hakim later became Maximos V Hakim, the Patriarch of Antioch. He headed the Melkite-Greek Catholic Church and built many schools, orphanages, and seminaries. He also wrote extensively in Arabic and French and published and edited the Church’s review, Le Lien. He also communicated with leaders of other faiths.
A respected senior figure of the Sunni Muslim community, Gad al-Haq was the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar and the Grand Mufti of Egypt. However, he wasn’t liked by most fundamentalist groups. As part of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, he struck a balance between the Hanafi rite and other schools of law.
Meletius was the Egyptian bishop of Lycopolis and is best remembered as the man who founded the Melitians, or the Church of the Martyrs. Details about his life are still obscure. While some sources believe he was imprisoned for his religious views, others state he fled persecution.
Muhammad Hamid Abu al-Nasr was the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood’s 4th General Guide. While he succeeded General Guide Umar al-Tilmisani, many opposed his appointment. He is also remembered for his written works such as Wadi e Neel Ka Qafila Sakht Jaan.
Egyptian author and scholar Fathi Osman, who promoted cooperation between Islam and other religions, aimed at making Islamic civilization and culture more understandable to non-Muslims through his writings. His writings include 40 books written in English and Arabic. His monumental work Concepts of the Quran gives an overview of the Quran for the general public.
John Talaia was the patriarch of Alexandria from 481 to 482. Due to his refusal to sign Emperor Zeno's Henoticon, he was expelled from the Council of Chalcedon. He fled to Rome, where he received supported. However, he could never return to Alexandria and became the bishop of Nola instead.
Eusebius, the deacon of Alexandria, later became the bishop of Laodicea, a port city in ancient Syria. When Alexandria was attacked by Roman emperor Valerian’s son Gallienus, Eusebius got many trapped Christians released. He was also sent to Antioch by Bishop Dionysius of Alexandria and was made a bishop on his return.