Simon calls her mother so she won't worry while out on an errand in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, June 26, 2011. Simon is the eldest daughter of Amaal Azmy El-Dahaby. Amaal's husband converted to Islam so that the Coptic church would grant him a divorce from her. The legal status of young children follows whomever follows the "superior religion", Islam, and the husband changed the identity papers of Amaal's two youngest daughters to Islam to avoid paying child support. The two girls can't live with their mother, because the police could take them away. As a result, they live with a relative and are home-schooled, and they refuse to convert to Islam. Simon's father has also harassed her, coming to the university where she studied engineering to remove her from her studies. As members of a religious minority, Coptic women in Egypt face discrimination and are subject to laws based on Islamic Sharia. Because of the difficulty of getting a divorce in the Coptic Church, some Christian men and women convert to Islam in order to get one, a decision that has far-reaching social and legal consequences for the family and sometimes the entire community. Coptic women's conversion to Islam has been documented to spark sectarian violence in numerous instances.
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