When I was younger, I thought it’s a pretty normal name. Growing up in Egypt where half the Christian kids of my generation are called Mina, and 3 cousins (other than myself) with the same name…I never thought I’d encounter any problems with that name.
That was until I grew up, and got exposed to the outer world. Outside of Egypt, to be specific. And that was when I learned how my name is a Guys’ name ONLY in Egypt. Yes, it IS a guys’ name in Egypt!
And that is the place it came from…
Back in early 1989, my family went to visit the monastery to see a family friend. A monk, who had the Coptic name of Mina after St Mina, the monastery’s saint. At that time, father Mina was the leader of this monastery. And as soon as he saw my mother he told her “Congratulations…You have a Mina coming your way…”
At that time my mom knew she was pregnant but she didn’t know if it’s a guy or a girl yet. Or at least that is the story I heard.
Nine months later, it was a boy. Me.
Shocking? Yes for those of you who still don’t know that, I am a guy! My name implies something else. But you have to believe me, I AM a guy! 😀
Of course after that encounter with the monk, my mom would never name me anything else but Mina. And that is how, my dear readers, I got this name, which haunts me to this day whenever I am outside Egyptian borders. Or, for that matter, inside them but dealing with non-Egyptians 🙂
Here is a picture of St Mina himself as seen on the monastery’s walls
St Mina is one of the Coptic Martyrs that were killed during the Roman Empire era for refusing to renounce his beliefs in Jesus, while he was actually an Army officer in the Roman Army…
With all due respect to him as a martyr and a saint. The name has got me in so many embarrassing situations 🙂