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Collection Coptic Orthodox Liturgical Chant and Hymnody


[Ragheb Moftah poses next to his close friend, renowned Coptologist Dr. Aziz Atiya, ca. 1980s]. Photograph. Courtesy of Laurence Moftah.

This Gallery is devoted to essays about Ragheb Moftah. Presented here are the following: a recent biography written by Raymond Stock for Turath; a family tree from Moftah’s papers in the Ragheb Moftah Collection in the Performing Arts Division; and five essays by Laurence Moftah, Librarian Emerita of the American University in Cairo, and guardian of her uncle Ragheb Moftah’s legacy of the transcribed and recorded chants of the Coptic Liturgy. Among Laurence Moftah’s essays are: 1) her personal memories of her uncle and how she was chosen by him to safeguard the valuable materials he had gathered in his 75-year-long career transcribing and recording Coptic liturgical chants; 2) a biographical essay on Ragheb Moftah which tells of his survival of a typhus epidemic when he was a child, and the influences of family members, particularly that of his sister, Farida; 3) an essay on Ragheb Moftah and Coptic music and his lifelong quest to save this great cultural heritage; 4) an essay that lays out the chronology of Ragheb Moftah’s contact with those who sang, transcribed and recorded the chants; and, 5) an essay on the Coptic Philanthropic Society, founded in 1881, by members of the Moftah family and to which so many Moftah family members belonged.

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