Tributes pour in after Egypt's 'Doctor of the Poor' passes away aged 76

Tributes pour in after Egypt's 'Doctor of the Poor' passes away aged 76
Social media was flooded with tributes to Mohammed Mashally, an Egyptian doctor who dedicated his career to providing free medical care for those who couldn't afford it.
2 min read
29 July, 2020
Dr Mohammed Mashally in his office in Tanta [Twitter]
Mohamed Mashally, an Egyptian doctor who dedicated his medical career to those who couldn't afford treatment, has died aged 76.

Tributes to Mashally, who became known as "Doctor of the Poor", flooded social media from across the globe, honouring his 50 years of medical service.

Mashally, born in the village of Dhahr al-Temsah, opened a medical clinic in the town of Tanta in 1975, providing free treatment and medicine for underprivileged patients.

Explaining the reason he dedicated his career to those who couldn't afford treatment, Mashally said that he had once treated a diabetic child, whose mother told him they couldn't afford both his insulin shot and food for the family.

The child set himself on fire on the roof of his home. After failing to save the boy, Mashally vowed to never charge for his services again.

Among the tributes to the doctor was a mural painted in Syria's Idlib province, of Mashally depicted as an angel. The image was posted by the Syrian National Coalition, the official body of opposition groups in Syria.

Another colourful mural was painted in Muhammadiyah, near Casablanca, in Morocco.

Other Arab leaders, including the Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, paid tribute to the doctor.

"Dr Mohammed Al Mashally of the dear Arab republic of Egypt… He was a maker of a different kind of hope," tweeted Al-Maktoum.

Many social media users posted fan art of the doctor, with one depicting him as the "Egyptian king".

Egyptian television presenter Wafaa Elkilany was among those who shared a video montage of Mashally working with patients and giving interviews.

Some Egyptians have called on Cairo's new metro station in Zamalek to be named after the doctor.

The issue has caused controversy in recent days, following an announcement that the station would be named Safaa Hegazi, after the little-known former head of the country's state television and radio broadcaster.

The government had said it wanted to name the station after a prominent woman who lived in the neighbourhood.

Millions of Egyptians suffer from poor health due to good food, medicine and suitable medical care being out of their reach.

Around a third of the population live in poverty, with conditions said to be worsening for ordinary Egyptians under President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, in part due to his drive to liberalise the economy.

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