Diversions on the Path to Paradise Diversions on the Path to Paradise Diversions on the Path to Paradise Diversions on the Path to Paradise Diversions on the Path to Paradise

It’s Been 60 Days Since My Arrival in Egypt!

150 150 Muriel

Time sure does fly when you’re having fun!

I have just crossed the 2 month mile-marker of the next iteration of my life. Thanks for joining this adventure with me! Another major milestone reached today is we are halfway through Ramadan! Day 15 has come and gone; by now most Muslims will have read half (15 juz) of the Quran as  well.

In Islam, we have 5 Pillars we are obligated/required  to practice/follow as Muslims (the Arabic word for Believers). The first is our proclamation/declaration of faith/belief that there is no God but Allah (God[SWA]) and Muhammad (SAWS) was His last Messenger and Prophet.  Second, we must pray (Salah) 5 times a day, at the prescribed times, in the prescribed manner. Third, we must fast (Saum) the month of Ramadan.  Fourth, we must make the pilgrimage (Hajj) to Mecca at least once in our lifetime, if we can afford it. And last, we must give in charity (Zakat) out of what we earn.

Ramadan is a time when many Muslims  feel inclined to give in charity.  The  deprivation we feel when fasting has a way of invoking feelings of empathy and compassion for those less fortunate. One of my goals was to find a way in which I could give out of my income and have it make a real impact on someone’s life. I believe I have found my calling.  Watch this short video; I will explain after.

This was filmed in a village in the Beni Suef region of Egypt.  The people here live in abject poverty, except they don’t know it. They are a proud people who farm for a living. They do not beg. The young man speaking is 1 of 3 brothers who live with their old, infirm mother in the 2 rooms pictured in this block of “residences”.  Their father is deceased so the boys are considered orphans, even though the mother is still alive. Fathers are the sole breadwinners so when they die, the children are orphaned. The mother receives the equivalent of $32.50 from the government. the youngest boy (in the background) is 12 years old. The older bother is not pictured and is out working the farm.

As you can see, one room has no roof so is pretty much uninhabitable. There is electricity, but no running water. It will cost $250 to run a water tap in their house and $1500 to put a roof on.  There are a  group of sisters (including me) who are working to make this happen for 10 houses at a time. Then we will continue, moving from one village to the next and so on, until we have done as much  and as many as we can.

In this world, where we take so much for granted, there are people without running water or a roof over their heads.  I have lived to see it with my own eyes; now God is blessing me to help with my own hands and from my meager resources. Al Hamdulillah ar Rabbil Al Amin (All Praise is due to God, Lord of the Worlds)!



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