"Doctor of the poor" from Egypt saved people for free all his life: the amazing story of Mohamed Mashali

The story of Mohamed Mashali

Charity, love of neighbor, and selfless service are the core values that keep faith in humanity alive. In a world where the desire for enrichment, success, and fame are valued above all else, the stories of people who gave their lives to service are unfortunately not "motivational." However, they inspire us to do good, to be a light to others, and to stay true to our values.

Today, few people know about Mohamed Mashali, a simple doctor from Egypt who gave up his wealth and treated the poor for a symbolic price or even for free until the end of his life. OBOZ.UA tells the story of a prominent Egyptian who was not tempted by wealth, gave millions of his collected funds to donations, and agreed to accept only a stethoscope as a gift, saying: "This is the only thing I need."

Who is the "doctor of the poor"?

Mohamed Mashali was born in the village of Dahr Al-Temsah, in the governorate of Beheira, to a teacher's family. Later, the family moved to the governorate of Gharbia.

In 1967, Mashali graduated from medical school, and in 1975 he began working in the city of Tanta in northern Egypt, where he was called the "doctor of the poor." Mashali spent more than 50 years serving the community and charged a nominal fee for a visit, but often treated for free. He also gave money to his poorest patients to buy medicines and charged 5-10 Egyptian pounds ($0.30-0.60) from his better-off patients.

Mashali worked 12 hours a day, and even at a respectable age, when he was already over 70, he saw 30-50 patients a day. The doctor provided vaccines for free to people who could not afford to buy them.

A story about a sick child

Mashali told the Egyptian edition of Hadret El Mowaten about the moment that forever changed his approach to the profession and encouraged him to serve the community. In his practice, there was a case when a child with diabetes died because his mother could not afford to buy insulin. The unfortunate woman told the child that if they bought an injection today, they would not have money for food. The doctor tried to save the baby, but it was too late. After that, he vowed never to charge for his services again.

Mashali called himself a specialist in endemic diseases and fevers because these are the things that affect poor people the most.

"That's enough, thank you"

Mashali has never owned a car or a cell phone. He used to walk from home to the clinic, even in his old age.

One day, the doctor got a chance to open a new clinic and change his life dramatically. A TV program in the United Arab Emirates aired a story about the good doctor and organized a fundraiser to support him. A tycoon living in the Gulf region, having learned Mashali's story, gave him $20,000 and a car. But a year later, upon his return to Egypt, the tycoon discovered that the doctor had given all the money to the needy, sold the car, and used the proceeds to buy equipment for free tests.

"After graduation, I learned that my father had sacrificed everything to make me a doctor. Then I promised God that I would live my life in service to my neighbor, no matter what culture or religion he was," Mashali said.

Becoming a doctor in Egypt is a great achievement. The profession immediately takes you to a new level and promises a well-fed and secure life. But Mashali was not interested in money. His wife and three children lived in comfort, but the doctor himself did not need luxury.

Mashali refused to accept the millions raised through the TV program, commenting on his decision as follows: "I recommend giving this money to those who really need it, and I don't need it. Donate it to homeless children, orphans, or give it back to charity."

Mashali agreed to accept only a new stethoscope, politely thanking us: "This is the only thing I need. That's enough, thank you."

Mohammed Mashali died in July 2020. The good doctor became a symbol of conscientious and noble work aimed at serving people.

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