In 1999, Glenn Jowitt travelled extensively throughout Greece and Egypt, taking photographs to complete his book "Festivals, Rituals and Ceremonies".
In the course of research for the Festivals, Rituals and Ceremonies portfolio, Glenn came across an annual Egyptian festival in honour of a woman called El Saida Nafissa. There is a mosque built in her name in old Cairo and the festivities go on for three days. As tradition has it El saida Nafissa was a moslem mother who, in her time, taught the practice of Islam.
In research for the Festivals Rituals and Ceremonies portfolio Glenn made contact with the Egyptian Coptic church in Sydney and gained contacts to enable a visit to the Coptic monastery Amba Bishoy while in Egypt.
The Egyptian Coptic church was of interest because it is the oldest Christian church, having begun in 56AD and Amba Bishoy has a church dated 356AD. Over the years the Coptic people have had to endure all sorts of social, environmental and religious hardships. The monastery Amba Bishoy has survived this and has along with other Coptic organisations made many useful developments in agriculture.