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 Tuesday, 7 January, 2003, 12:46 GMT
Egypt marks Copts' Christmas
Reports say Egypt has marked the Coptic Christmas, which falls on Tuesday, for the first time as a national day.

They say in the past, only Copts - as Egyptian Christians are known - were given Christmas as a holiday, while the rest of Egypt, a predominantly Muslim country, worked as usual.

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's younger son, Gamal, attended the Christmas Eve mass. which was officiated by the Coptic Pope, Shenuda III, at Cairo's St Mark's Cathedral on Monday night.

Correspondents say Gamal Mubarak is being seen as a potential successor to his father.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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