A Carriage for Mustafa

Hello from Luxor, Egypt.

This post is a request for help.

Those of you who know me understand that I believe in helping those in need. Like many of you, I have done my share of volunteering, taking the cards off of the Christmas trees and giving anonymous gifts to children, donating to the local food bank and other small acts of kindness along the way.  I am now putting my faith in you!

Luxor, until 5 years ago was a magnet for tourism which provided the economic backbone for most of its inhabitants.  There is no major industry in Luxor, no technology, no manufacturing or any other economic base.  Tourism was the engine that drove this train.  5 years ago that train was derailed by the political upheaval here and it left people struggling; some more than others.

So, I want you to meet Mustafa the carriage driver and his horse Natalie.

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Mustafa is the youngest of 12 children.  His father was a carriage/Caliesh driver who was able to support his family with a healthy tourism economy.  The sons grew and went to school and each one began to work at young age to help support the family.  Unfortunately, the father died when Mustafa was still young.  He never had the opportunity to finish school.  He went to work at 9 years of age!

Mustafa wasn’t asking much from life – the love of a good woman, marriage, family and the ability to earn a decent living. Being illiterate limited his choices.  He joined the military thinking it would allow him to make something of himself, but found after a few short years that his inability to read and write put a ceiling on promotability.  He then went to work for the local police department where his job for 3 years was to stand in front of a building with a gun for eight hour shifts.

The one big thing that these jobs gave him was a way to fix up a small flat where he would live with his wife. This was a definate prerequisite to getting married.  He spent six years just getting to the wedding day.

Today Mustafa has a wife and two small girls to support and educate.  He is determined that his girls will have a better life.  He struggles every day to earn enough money to buy food, pay for his daughter Mina’s school and feed his horse Natalie.

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Getting Natalie’s shoes repaired.

His main struggle is not only because tourism is down. The greatest impedintent to his success is that he has to rent the carriage, and  for every dollar he earns the owner of the carriage and license gets  80%, there is no way to get ahead of this curve unless he owns his own carriage.  He has the horse Natalie, which he takes care of, saying she is the important part of the team.  Without Natalie there would be no income at all.

Recently he had the opportunity to buy a carriage and license.  He and his wife went to the bank to see if they could get a loan for the equivalent of 3500 euros.  Well, we all know how those conversations go.  Do you have an account? Do you have collateral? No? Well we can’t help you.  His wife brought her diploma from graduation and thought it would be collateral.  A valuable asset for her, but not he bank.

This man is like Cinderella, stuck in an untennable situation and needing a fairy godmother with a magic wand.  I volunteered for the job of fairy godmother and am hoping you can be the magic wand. If 100 people each decide to donate 35 euros Mustafa can buy his carriage and license and be his own boss, keeping 100% of what he works to earn instead of  a pitiful 20%.  I seriously doubt that any of us would want this type of work situation.

At this point, if I were you, dear reader, I would be asking – what do you really know about this family?  I can tell you that Luxor is a small town and everyone knows everyone. Not one person I’ve met has had anything but good words for Mustafa.  They say “he is good man” and “he is honest man” and “he takes care of his family”.  And, I have found him to be honest, kind and conscientious.  I have been to his small flat (one room, kitchen the size of a closet, and if you need he toilet you have to go downstairs to his brother’s flat); they have taken me to the fruit and veg market helping me buy my vittles each week at local prices.  Mustafa has given me valuable information about Luxor, and how to discourage hassles, teaching me Arabic words and making sure I am treated fairly! They have adopted me into their family.

img_20170103_103833So, how can you help Mustafa?  His friend and my landlord has helped establish an account at the local bank for Mustafa.  You need to send your contribution in EUROS, and I’m sure there will be a fee to send a foreign transaction. Your bank will ask for a

SWIFT CODE : N B E G E G C X 524

which includes the name and location of the bank.

IBAN number 524 00 391 36 000 605 240

Name on the account: Mohamed Ali Hefny Abdel Rahman

Who is my landlord and friend of Mustafa.

I have started this account with 100 Euros, please let the magic begin!

 

 

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7 thoughts on “A Carriage for Mustafa

  1. Sheryl, how much is a EUROS How much is 35 Euros?

    On Sun, Jan 8, 2017 at 1:37 AM, Travels With The Red Suitcase wrote:

    > sherrillmadden posted: “Hello from Luxor, Egypt. This post is a request > for help. Those of you who know me understand that I believe in helping > those in need. Like many of you, I have done my share of volunteering, > taking the cards off of the Christmas trees and giving anonymo” >

    Like

  2. Hi Sherrill.

    You are a kind and generous woman. I am pretty sure this email is not a scam, unlike so many others.

    I and my family are in dire straights financially ourselves at the moment. But it’s like the adage about feeling sorry for oneself for having no shoes until we saw one with no feet. We are slowly digging ourselves out of a pit that seems without a bottom. But I have shoes. (Too many.) So you have touched my heart and I will see what I can do. At least I know this will actually go to a real person. How much is a euro worth today anyway?

    Bless your heart.

    Kristin Olson

    ________________________________

    Like

  3. Hi Sherrill.
    You are a kind and generous woman. I am pretty sure this email is not a scam, unlike so many others.
    I and my family are in dire straights financially ourselves at the moment. But it’s like the adage about feeling sorry for oneself for having no shoes until we saw one with no feet. We are slowly digging ourselves out of a pit that seems without a bottom. But I have shoes. (Too many.) So you have touched my heart and I will see what I can do. At least I know this will actually go to a real person.
    Bless your heart.
    Kristin Olson

    Like

    1. Thank you for your heartfelt comment, Kristen. Any amount would be helpful, or sharing this with others who might want a to be a part of his project. The Euro is usually closely equal to the US dollar. There are some other people from Luxor that I would like to be able to help, but I can only do one thing at a time. Thanks again. Sherrill

      Like

    1. Hello Elise, I came to Luxor for a WorkAway, but found quickly that it was not compatible. I decided to stay and found a furnished flat with a very reasonable rate. Glad of this decision. Have met outgoing and welcoming people, new foods, customs and beautiful clothing. Mustafa’s wife shops with me at the produce market and Muhammad’s wife takes me for clothing shopping. Nothing to be afraid of here. Lots of tourist Police, military and local law watching over tourists and historic sites.

      Liked by 1 person

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