Coptic monastic revival – Matta al-Maskeen

I’d very much like to know more about the astonishing revival of monasticism that has taken place among the Copts in modern Egypt.  A central figure is the mysterious Fr. Matta al-Maskeen (various spellings seem to be around).

Quite by chance I’ve stumbled across a digest of translated newspaper articles on him here.  Sadly you have to be a subscriber to access the articles, but the summaries alone are interesting.  The site itself says that

We publish Arab-West Report, an independent weekly electronic magazine. It is dedicated to fostering understanding of the Arab World. We do this partly through summary translations of Arabic newspaper articles into English…

Guys… you’ll foster understanding better if you make it possible for people other than specialists to read the articles!  You need free content, really you do. Make the current year and last year subscription only, and let everyone read before then.

Back to Fr. Matta.  I think there may be a book or two about this renewal by John H. Watson, but I haven’t seen any of them.

The search in Google on “matta al-maskeen monks” brings back such interesting results.  I find there is a Coptic forum here, where the merits (and otherwise) of Fr. Matta are hotly debated.