Studying the Saints
Adel and Nagat Zakhary immigrated from Egypt 17 years ago to escape the terrorism aimed at Coptic Christians. "Every year," said George, their 21-year-old son, "there would be bombs on Christian buses going to monasteries."
In North Arlington, N.J., the Zakharys centered their lives on St. Mark's and St. Anthony's Church. Mr. Zakhary studied the Bible, the lives of the saints and books by Bishop David, a friend and church leader. But Mr. Zakhary, 50, had a sharp side. "He was sarcastic to the point you couldn't tell if he was serious," George said.
The family was intensely close. An accountant at Carr Futures, Mr. Zakhary worked nights and cooked the dinner. "Cheesecake with strawberries," George said. "Chicken cordon bleu." When anyone went to the doctor, Mr. Zakhary took a day off to accompany them. Mrs. Zakhary startled the doctor last week when she turned up for her appointment, alone.
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on September 28, 2001.