In serving Egypt’s most vulnerable, one of HANDS’ partner organizations, the Coptic Evangelical Organization for Social Services (CEOSS), has secured its place as one of Egypt’s most prominent civil society organizations. CEOSS’s ethic of dynamic citizenship comes out of the Christian commitment to the poor and vulnerable in concert with an innovative approach to engagement across religious and demographic lines. Through rights-based development, CEOSS helps working children, people with disabilities, women living in the poorest areas, and small scale farmers (among others) have a voice in their future. CEOSS’s approach has strengthened its presence amid Egypt’s social, political, and economic upheavals. Their model of engagement provides a challenge and a path forward for faith-centered organizations around the world to strengthen their place in the public square.

We hope you’ll join us for a Middle Eastern lunch and presentation by Walter Ratliff, HANDS Advisory Council member, on his recent research into CEOSS’ work in Egypt.

Walter is an Associated Press journalist working on his doctorate at Georgetown University. He has spent the past fifteen years examining the relationships between Muslim and Christian communities around the world. He is the author of Pilgrims on the Silk Road: A Muslim-Christian Encounter in Khiva, and directed the documentary Through the Desert Goes Our Journey: The Mennonite Trek to Central Asia. He also wrote Christians and Muslims at the Epicenter: How the Sept. 11th Attacks Shook and Transformed American Evangelicalism. His is currently researching how faith groups respond to global challenges to religious liberty.

We hope to see you on February 20th from noon to 2 p.m. The lunch will be held in the party room of our building (505 East Braddock Road, Alexandria, VA). Parking is available in the adjacent garage or on the street.

RSVP by February 18 to or (703) 875-9370