Impressions of a Passenger by RemEnKimi
Table of Contents

Part I About This Document

Part II An Overview of RemEnKimi

    1 Who is RemEnKimi ?
        1.1 Are there any important names in RemEnKimi?
    2 What Inspired RemEnKimi?
    3 When Did RemEnKimi Begin?
    4 How Did RemEnKimi Gather?
    5 What is RemEnKimi?
        5.1 Domains of RemEnKimi:
            5.1.1 Email Group List(s):
            5.1.2 Voice Chat Room(s):
            5.1.3 Website/WAP site(s):
        5.2 What RemEnKimi is not?
            5.2.1 RemEnKimi is not a Christian group
            5.2.2 RemEnKimi is not an anti-arab group
            5.2.3 RemEnKimi is not a translation group
            5.2.4 RemEnKimi is not a transliteration group
    6 Why Did RemEnKimi Gather?
        6.1 Isn't it strange that people gather around a dead language?
    7 Whom Does RemEnKimi Serve?
    8 What is the Philosophy of the RemEnKimi?
    9 Where does RemEnKimi exist?
    10 Why is it sometimes static and sometimes moving?
    11 Is it for promoting Old Bohairic or Greco-Bohairic?
    12 Does this lack of a clear charter lead to clashes?
        12.1 What are the main clash points?
    13 Does RemEnKimi have any achievements?
    14 Is RemEnKimi planning to extend forming a formal NGO?
    15 How can I participate?
    16 Why did you write this?


About This Document

This document is only impression of a passenger by RemEnKimi. It is by no means a charter or a code. It offers only one viewpoint which might be liable to personal bias. It is more or less a trial to understand RemEnKimi and document these observations. I invite others to spell there viewpoints as well.

An Overview of RemEnKimi

1 Who is RemEnKimi ?

A group of anonymous enthusiasts to Egyptian Coptic heritage in general and Coptic language in particular. It is hard - almost impossible - to find a definition that suits all group members. However, the basic lineage is that participants currently are living, active human beings, interested (either positively &/or negatively) in Coptic language in some sense, have basic knowedge in computers, internet, email and email groups. Some speak & write Coptic fluently others do not. Correspondence, takes place in Coptic and English, occasionally Arabic is used, rarely French or Italian are utilized.

1.1 Are there any important names in RemEnKimi?

RemEnKimi's anonynmous. It is not name-based. It is not based on one human's mind, effort, intelligence, or study. It is more of a collaborative work that extends beyond names, and lives. It's related to the language, not confined to the speakers. RemEnKimi in a nutshell is a Coptic folklore that started by the end of the twentieth century.

2 What Inspired RemEnKimi?

Various resources, monuments and artefacts; it varies with the participants. The Greeks, Armenians, native Americans, Aboriginals, Jews, Berber, Nubians, Kurds and any other nation that spent effort for the preservation, revitalization or revival of their language. The most notable figures that inspired  RemEnKimi are:

Others were inspired by histrocity of the language, and the diversity of its dialects, Bohairic, Sahidic, Fayoummic, Bashmuric, Akhmimmic and Sub-Akhmimmic, and many other arhcaeological and aesthetic values. The works of various Egyptologists and Coptologists as W.E.Crum, Worrell, Vicychl, Alexis Mallon, Till, Henry Tattam, Stephen Emmel, Tito Orlandi, Georgy Sobhy and many others continue to inspire RemEnKimiers.

3 When Did RemEnKimi Begin?

It began in the year 2000, started by an email group at egroups (RemEnKimi@yahoogroups.com currently), then the
website, http://www.coptic.org/language the wapsite, and then, the chat rooms at www.paltalk.com (currently closed) all started within a couple of years.

4 How Did RemEnKimi Gather?

'Birds of the same feather flock together'.

A few invitations were sent from email group members to non-members at first. The group was first formed as people emailing to each other in Coptic, using Carbon copies: then with the increase of number the egroup was formed having about 18 members. This was June 2000. Soon, it merged with another group named coptslang@egroups.com. Then, the website in August/September 2000, started to gain more popularity. Later the wapsite and the chat rooms.

5 What is RemEnKimi?

RemEnKimi (remenkimi or Ramenkamy or what-so-ever), means Coptic. 'Rem' from RWMI 'RMT' means human; 'En' 'N' means of; and Kimi 'Kami' KMT' means black and it refers to Egypt as well. So, it means 'Humans of Egypt' a.k.a Coptic. The Three capital letters denote the starting letter of each word. As well, it may mean REK from 'RIKI' which means bend at or lean at..., which is a subtle invitation to lean at Coptic. It also refers to the activity of the group in general which currently, includes three major domains.

5.1 Domains of RemEnKimi:
5.1.1 Email Group List(s):

This list currently serves three purposes, as it is composed of three major categories

  • Archaeologists, Egyptologists and Coptologists: who observe Coptic from an archaeologic perspective
  • Beginners: who are stepping their first steps in learning Coptic mainly for ecclesiastic purposes
  • Coptic language enthusiasts: who communicate with each other via Coptic language directly
  • 5.1.2 Voice Chat Room(s):

    This room serves for two major purposes

  • Communication via Coptic language
  • Education of Coptic language
  • 5.1.3 Website/WAP site(s):

    The web spots serve in three major domains

  • Offering resources for Coptic literary heritage, offering an online collection of Coptic works
  • Educational sections for learning
  • An output for contemporary works in Coptic language
  • 5.2 What RemEnKimi is not?

    This is meant to delineate RemEnKimi from the common misconceptions.

    5.2.1 RemEnKimi is not a Christian group

    Despite the face that the majority of the Coptic manuscripts are christian and ecclesiastical, RemEnKimi is not directed towards preaching, or any other Christian activity. Yes, there's a link for the patron saint of the website, but this follows a Coptic tradition of building temples in name of gods and then churches lately, websites. Needless to say, that there are no restrictions on religious belief, gender or ethnicity in RemEnKimi

    5.2.2 RemEnKimi is not an anti-arab group

    RemEnKimi focuses on Coptic language. Coptic and Arabic are not mutually exclusive. They lived together for long centuries. RemEnKimi generally aims at widening the horizon of knowledge. It respects all fields of culture, knowledge and understanding. Despite the fact that Coptic was replaced by Arabic, the value of these facts takes place only in history books. Promoting knowledge and appreciation of Coptic language, does not lessen the value of the Arab culture, infact, it adds to the understanding of the diversity of the cultural wealth of Egypt.

    5.2.3 RemEnKimi is not a translation group

    The aim of RemEnKimi's not to translate the Coptic literary heritage to other languages. This is also reflected in the group messages were a scarcity of material posted in Coptic is translated.

    5.2.4 RemEnKimi is not a transliteration group

    There are links in the website for transliteration, there are members who prefer to write in transliteration rather than in coptic letters. RemEnKimi's not against any of these. It is an open field for experimentation. It's worthnoting that RemEnKimi is not formed for finding a transliteration.

    6 Why Did RemEnKimi Gather?

    The why question is very hard to answer, however, in short. RemEnKimi may be pictured as a railway station. Many use it, many leave their fingerprints and footsteps. The only commonality is that they passed by the road of Coptic at some point. The question is not asked to any member. Sometimes, the passenger does not figure out clearly what dropped him by that station.

    6.1 Isn't it strange that people gather around a dead language?

    People may gather around Egyptian monuments and tombs, studying archaeolgy, thanatology, excavations for extinct organisms, or celebrating te birthday of a dead artist. Every newbie comes to RemEnKimi with his/her own agenda, be it even to merely have a look. The wealth of the Coptic language heritage and its aesthetics serve as an attraction point. Some would passby for utalitarian reasons such as understanding the Coptic Orthodox Church hymns and chants; the field is generally open.

    7 Whom Does RemEnKimi Serve?

    Whoever interested.

    8 What is the Philosophy of the RemEnKimi?

    As previously mentioned RemEnKimi resembles a railway station, built by those who are interested and sometimes, there are those who are interested inhelping others, otherwise, it is a byproduct of paving a way. It just serves for others. There are no dogmas or restriction to members apart from social norms and the cornerstone interest in Coptic language which is supposed to be present prior to viewing or sharing in the RemEnKimi. Therefore, there is no clear direction to the RemEnKimi. nor there is a mission to be accomplished. It is hard to expect whether it will grow or decline or remain stationary.There is not even an explicit message asking for help from others because, this entails an owner or a director. This is not present, there are just group owners or moderators, web-masters, room administrators whose job are mainly administrative. This is why anonymity and having the work for public are not an intentional work they are rather byproducts of the way things go.

    9 Where does RemEnKimi exist?

    In the cyberspace only. RemEnKimi is not an institute or a society or gathering that has an official virtual representative. It is all in the virtual space.

    10 Why is it sometimes static and sometimes moving?

    RemEnKimi is not institutionalised thus, it has no intertia or regular pace. RemEnKimi gets it's beat from volunteer work. Whenever volunteers do work the RemEnKimi's viable otherwise static. It's more or less like a sea, waving with the winds.

    11 Is it for promoting Old Bohairic or Greco-Bohairic?

    There are members who belong to both groups. RemEnKimi does not impose a certain preference. It tries to offer as much viewpoints as possible. The website offers opinions and works of both. In the email group, one can hardly tell to which group the writings belong. RemEnKimi values the validity, authenticity and histrocity of the Old Bohairic pronunciation, as well, it respects the value of recording the Coptic hymns and chants that was pioneered by Ragheb Moftah in Greco-Bohairic pronunciation. It is worth mentioning that there are even less popular pronunciations & writing techniques e.g. transliterations on the RemEnKimi. RemEnKimi is one of the few places where proponents of both may meet and discuss on a neutral ground.

    12 Does this lack of a clear charter lead to clashes?

    Ofcourse it does from time to time. However, there is no way to guarantee non-clashing. The hazards of clashing different points of view are far less toxic than the hazards of having an authoritarian RemEnKimi. The main loose shadow of a charter is avoiding topics of explicit sexual content, commercial products or topics having a political agenda, and pure religious topics that are not related to Coptic are not welcomed. In addition, to any content that is not related to Coptic Language.

    12.1 What are the main clash points?

    As many as you can count, usage of translation, unifying a transliteration, usage of standard font, clashes about pronunciation, arguments about revival, the educational role of RemEnKimi, extending to be an NGO.

    13 Does RemEnKimi have any achievements?

    No, achievements entail a certain direction. However, if you may look backwards to RemEnKimi; The sole achievement of RemEnKimi is gathering of people. Others are the bypoduct of a living community e.g. an interest email discussion group in Coptic with almost one thousand member, a website with collection of old and contemporary writings, a WAP site for coptic, chat rooms and having a standard coptic keyboard layout and fonts.

    The current prospects focus on Unicode and Coptic Keyboard layouts, posting material of contemporary writings on the website. There are many other areas of growth. This is to name a few.

    14 Is RemEnKimi planning to extend forming a formal NGO?

    There are contradictory voices on this issue. Some argue that this is the natural growth of RemEnKimi. Some, argue that such a step might cost RemEnKimi its basic essence, as it basically will entail a formal charter, external funds will be requested, si the whole thing might mould to fit within the frame of the funding organization.

    15 How can I participate?

    The decision is up to you to decide the magnitude and direction of participation. In general, financial donations are not accepted and there are no products to sell. If you have difficulties in determining what to do, you may ask group members. Then, you may decide your own agenda.

    16 Why did you write this?

    For you to read. For me to remember RemEnKimi at time of posting this.