Egyptian “Doctor of the Poor”, Dr Mohamed Mashally

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Egyptian “Doctor of the Poor”, Dr Mohamed Mashally

Mashally was born in the village of Dhahr El Temsah in Beheira Governorate in northern Egypt. His father was a teacher. The family subsequently moved to Tanta in Gharbia Governorate, and Mashally studied at Qasr Al-Aini Faculty of Medicine, before specialising in internal medicine, paediatrics, and infectious diseases.

In 1975, Mashally opened a clinic in Gharbia for which he charged patients only £E 5 for medical examinations. The clinic, which remained open for many years, only increased its charges to £E 10, with Mashally frequently offering examinations free of charge for poor patients.

He worked 12-hour days, even while he was in his late 70s, and served 30-50 patients a day, according to an interview with DW. Dr. Mashali was also known to provide vaccines free of charge to people who could not afford them.

Dr. Mohamed Mashali was awarded with the title “Doctor of the Poor” by officials for serving his community for over 50 years.

He was visiting the poor in his city in Egypt for over 50 years. He did everything for free, in his modest clinic, he also gave money to his poorest patients to buy medicines and charged less than a dollar to financially well patients. He never owned a car, not even a cell phone. He walked from his house to the clinic on foot even though he was over 80 years old.

When a Gulf tycoon learned his story, he gave him $20,000 and also gave him a car to get around. But after a year, upon his return to Egypt, the tycoon discovered that Muhammad had sold the car to help his poor patients.

Muhammad Mashaly said, “After I graduated I found out that my father sacrificed his whole life to make me a doctor.” Then I promised God that I would not take a penny from the poor.

“There are doctors that you see on the street, that do not even recognize you or don’t say hello. But not this doctor, he greets you on the street and would even give you medical advice if needed,” one of Dr. Mashali’s patients told DW.

Mohamed Mashally died on 28 July 2020 in Tanta, Gharbia governorate and was buried in his native Governorate of Beheira.