Yesterday, a friend told me the story below.
Mahmoud was in his sixties when he fell ill and was left to die in his little room on the rooftop of a Zamalek residential building. He had been the servant of a family living in that building for almost forty years, but when they thought he wasn’t useful to them anymore, because he was ill and couldn’t perform his tasks, they just forgot about him. He was discovered by the bawab (porter) of the building. He hadn’t eaten or drunk for four days. They put him in the building’s garage, although it was obvious that he should be taken to a hospital.
“He’s not our business,” one member of the family said, when he was asked for help. The security staff of the garage and nearby buildings also didn’t want to get involved, because they were afraid to get in trouble. However, someone decided to call an ambulance. But when the ambulance arrived, nobody stood up for Mahmoud when the personnel asked for more information about him. They were unable to take him to the hospital, as nobody knew who Mahmoud was.
We decided to bring Mahmoud to the hospital ourselves. We carried the old man to a taxi, and took him to Qasr al-Eini Hospital, a government hospital in Manial. The hospital didn’t have any empty beds, so he had to lie on the floor all the time, while we arranged for medication.
We were finally able to reach Mahmoud’s family, and two of his cousins showed up late in the evening. They told us that he always wanted to be left alone, and that they hadn’t had contact with him for some time.
Mahmoud is being treated in the hospital for now, but it’s unclear how long he can stay there as the hospital is always short of beds. A doctor, who isn’t working in Qasr al-Eini, visited him this morning. She said Mahmoud is doing better, and family members were still with him.
If it weren’t for a few people, Mahmoud would have died in his room on the rooftop of a building inhabited by rich Egyptians, for whom it would take just a fraction of their wealth to save him, if they’d care. The selfishness and mentality of some very rich people in Egypt is absolutely disgusting.