It's the year 2014 in Egypt -before the economic crisis that lead to prices of everything to sky rocket. A 19-year-old me who loves studying languages got admitted to the school of English Arts and literature -very happy about that, my dream came true- started working a part time job in a store to try to support myself and my independence away from my family, who are already not welcoming my presence among them (family issues that I will explain later).
I was working and studying and I've always told myself that tomorrow might come with bad situations, so I have to get ready, I have to have some sort of back-up for when bad time comes, I would be prepared.
I saved money from my salary, part for the room that I rent to live in, part for my daily meals and the third part I kept it for savings. I'm the type of person who is ambitious and always moving and trying to teach myself new skills and invest in myself more than anything else. So I invest in myself to be prepared for a bad situation that might come tomorrow. I stated developing my skills in other languages to land a good job for when I finish my college education. I stated hammering myself with the best thing I'm good at and loved the most; learning new languages.
I went to L'Institut Français d'Egypte (The French Institution in Egypt -Cairo), which is an official missionary accompanied by the French embassy in Egypt, for teaching French.
It was very expensive to learn there, I told myself that it is the only place that is worth the money; because it is official and belongs to French embassy and the quality of teaching there and mingling in the French culture would be the best.
I payed the course fees from my savings. Kept studying at college, working and then going to the French institution for the French course and studying French after that. I did this all day, every day. I finished up till the 8th level in French (B1).
I never had enough of this, I loved Japanese so much, so I decided that I should start learning Japanese, but that wasn't until 5 month later after starting my French course. I went to the Japan Foundation in Cairo and started learning Japanese.
After almost 9 months, bad things was on its way. I was happy working at the store, until one time the store owner humiliated me and hit me, because of his son who was always trying to humiliate me and treating me like a slave for him. I was trying to avoid him as much as I could, but that's when I found out that some people's job is just to destroy other people's lives.
I do not hate him and I do not hold any grudge. I always heard Jesus' words to LOVE YOUR ENEMIES. It was very hard for me to accept this concept; to LOVE someone who wants to hurt me and looking for nothing but my agony and suffer. I learned from this that LOVING back is the best weapon you could ever use against someone who hates you, to never hold grudges against anyone whatsoever and to move along with yourself and focus on getting yourself in a better situation.
I started looking for some other place to work for, and I managed to have another job. I was fine I kept studying at college, working and studying French and Japanese.
I always prayed for God that he keeps these good conditions for me. I never complained about anything about this life. I was not living in fancy conditions. I would wake up go to school and then work and then study languages. I could not afford buying new clothes or new shoes or socks though my shoes was all torn and my socks have worn away, I kept every penny to save for making myself better and invest in myself by learning more and more none stop. I would not afford eating anything but beans, potato chips sandwiches and just bread loafs nothing else, no meat no poultries because I never had the money for them. I never drink anything but water, no juice, no soda because I could not afford them. I always felt people's eyes saying "how could he be living like that?!!" But I was extra satisfied with this, I always told myself that I'm living the dream and I was enjoying the littel things in my life. I enjoyed being crammed in public transportation among hundreds of people to get to my college, I enjoyed eating the same food every day and every meal. I enjoyed every sip of water that I drink and that it was more enjoyable than any juice or Soda Pepsi. I enjoyed learning more languages and going to work. I enjoyed running all day every day in blazing sun from college to work to French institution to the Japanese foundation and being exhausted at the end of the day from all of this and get home and fall right on my bed to wake up for a new adventurous day tomorrow.
I enjoyed the little things and was extra happy with this. I kept saving from my new job and decide to venture in a new skill, something that I found myself somehow good at, which is designing. I saved money and bought a new laptop, taught myself how to use Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and Premieres pro to make cool designs and some light video editing. And I loved designing so much and made some cool designs including a designed booklet that introduces Arabic Language and Egyptian Accent.
Everything was good in my life, until everything started falling apart. It all started with the economic crisis that hit my country which made everything go crazy; prices went too high just over night, everything became so expensive, even the cheap food that I could get, became now expensive for me to buy. Public transportation ticket prices doubled in prices. I had to quit learning French and Japanese to work in some extra part time job to be able just to pay the rent for the room I live in, to be able to buy the food and afford transportation.
And I wished things had stopped there, Job owners had to cut down on the Jobs, after everything became crazy expensive, and to top it off petrol and oil prices have spiked even more. I was asked to leave the work from one job, then 2 weeks later same thing happened to my second job, as they can no longer support paying people working.
Now fast forward to 2017, this is my life:
I had to leave the room that I was renting after this, as I can no longer help paying the rent. I moved into another room with a worst facilities, to be able to pay its rent. I have no access to water, I fill bottles of water from public water to drink and general use. No Internet and to make things worse my laptop screen broke.
I went to look for other jobs that require any of my languages talents or designing talents, but I still can't, no one is able to hire after the economic crisis.
I went to my father, asked him for help, and he refused he's always and still that I'm a failure and disgrace to him and all his friends has better children than me. He feels in shame to mention my name and only successful good children deserve help from their father.
I went to my mother, and she said that she can't help me I'm already a grown up man and she can not sacrifice one of her needs to give me the money. She said "Sorry, I can't go get money from your father it's his job, or go get money yourself".
That never actually shocked me, before I move out I was already feeling that I'm an orphan and living all by my own in this world. The only family member I have is Jesus, and he is a suffice.
I went to borrow money from a man who is known to be lending money at one condition that I pay him back with an extra profit, I borrowed to pay for the room that I'm now staying at, which is already funny because this room can be barely called a room and I can't pay it's rent, I borrowed to be able to buy the modest food 1 meal per day and sometimes 2 meals per day.
I keep looking for jobs everyday, but things has only been getting worse. What has happened lately and really devastated me, is that the man I borrowed the money is threating to go to the court with the checks I signed when I was borrowing the money. "If you never paid the money in time, I will put the government's bracelets around your hand" that's what he said. He was kind enough and gave me a 25-day-period to pay back.
I'm having a very hard emotional trauma, and after 25 days I could end up in jail, I keep thinking what would happen to my life, what could happen to me there. At one point I tried thinking that I would end up in jail, however I do not have the least chance to survive there, people are already bullying and discriminating against me because I'm a Christian, what about being among criminals and they find out about you being Christian!! I would be killed inside the jail and no one will even care.
I keep crying and asking God, how come and why my life ended all of a sudden upside down like this?
I want to cry so hard, and I have no one to hug or to be beside me when I cry!
If you think you can help me, I ask you to help me first with your compassion, your words; to feel that I'm not alone by myself on this. That there are people somewhere care for me.
I once found a 20 (Egyptian pounds) on the ground while walking, which was back when I was financially stable and the prices was fine and I could support myself. I did not need this 20 pounds, I could have spent it on something that I really wanted, because I never had the luxury to buy anything extra; all my money have exactly covered the room rent, my daily meals and course expenses. But I always learned from Christianity that if God is giving you the food of today, then this is just luxury.
Before I found this 20 pounds I was walking in the street and passed by 4 young children the oldest one of them is 6 years old, they were bare foot and begging for a bite of a sandwich from people coming out of a McDonald's store, and people just are so cruel and push them away. I just stopped there and this was the worst feeling that I ever had, I was very angry at the world and people who are just so selfish and leaving such innocent creature begging from hanger. I Literally did not had even one pound in my pocket, I did not have enough money to take a bus to my home, so I was walking home. I wanted to cry really hard when I saw the children and every time I remember this in my head I would want to cry so hard.
After that I found the 20 pounds, I had already walked past the children by a 8 blocks or so, but that's when I knew what aim God has sent me this 20 pounds for. This money is not for me! I turned back and went inside McDonald's and garbed a sandwich with the 20 pounds and I divided it to 4 pieces and gave it to the children. If you ask me what is the best view you ever saw in your life, some people would say a beach view or a garden view, bit I would say that the view of these children rushing up to me when I waved my hand for them, and they are around me like little hungry kittens eating from their owner's hands.
They were brothers and sisters the eldest of them is called Menna (Arabic word: meaning a good giving from God), She told me her name and the name of her younger 2 younger sister and one brother. They youngest was called Mohamed, he barely could talk I looked at him and smiled and he smiled back, I asked him to make a wish for me, he said "Yes" I asked him to close his eyes and cross his fingers hoping that Andrew one day finds someone by his side for when a bad time comes upon him.
I really hoped from God this time that when I'm in bad situation I find someone standing by my side. I never asked for money or someone to give me money if something goes wrong in my life. All I asked for is someone to be by my side to soothe the pain with his kind words, only words are far more valuable than anything else, that's what I believe in; I believe in the power of word, I quote the Bible:
" In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."
I'm telling you this story not to show off that I'm a good guy who helps people, no one is clear of sins; I have flaws just like anyone, I'm telling you this just because of one thing which is that back then I had a deep feeling that one day I would be in a terrible situation, and all I really wanted and wished for not money, but the feel that there are people around me, the support of word; the feeling that I'm not all alone by myself on this.
During all what I've passed and been through I was, and still totally alone; all by myself. No one encouraged me when I was doing well by working and studying what I love really hard. No one is beside me now when everything and my life is falling apart. No one beside me to even say something to me, to say "hey, it's gonna be OK, don't worry"
I hope that people do not make their financial support the first priority in donation. Some people may just be looking for a kind word, a word that would make their pain and fear in their situation be more easy and tolerable.
Donate Love to everyone, Donate your support with your kind words even if you do not have money to donate, all these have much more value than the biggest donation amount you could ever pay. That's what I believe in.
I'm setting the donation amount as fixed, because I believe that no matter how my situation that I've told you above is bad, there are other people who are fighting to the bitter end to live every second of their lives with far more critical situation than mine. So if you're donating $20, you should only give me $10 and the other $10 should go for someone else who really needs them either here on the crowd funding platform, or even someone around you. Search around you you'd find people who are in your community who are in really bad situation, but they never talk about it, however their eyes tells their story and their pain, GO HELP THEM TOO, they need your help.
Help me just stay away from jail, help me enjoy the little things in my life back.
If you want the booklet I wrote and designed about Arabic, I can give it for you --even if you do not want to donate-- just ask.
Share it with the your friends and family, because I do not have anyone to share it with.