He was known as the 'doctor of the poor' in the Arab world: Who is Mohammed Abdel-Ghafar El Mashaly?

Mohammed Abdel-Ghafar El Mashaly (Muhammad Mashally), a philanthropic doctor known for supporting poor people in Egypt, left behind a life story full of good deeds.

By Stephen McWright Published on 2 Nisan 2024 : 15:45.
He was known as the 'doctor of the poor' in the Arab world: Who is Mohammed Abdel-Ghafar El Mashaly?

His practice was in the most luxurious district of Tanta. The elite and rich people of Cairo, and even all of Egypt, would come to him for treatment. He could have lived a very rich life, but he devoted his life to the poor. He wrote his name in the history of goodness.

One day, a mother came into the clinic, desperately looking for a cure for her sick child. In fact, even entering Doctor El Mashaly's luxurious clinic was a great courage.

Those who have been there know that the distinction between rich and poor is very sharp in Egypt. It was only through the desperation of her child's illness that that poor mother could leave her poverty-stricken home and come here. He heard about Doctor El Mashaly and came with hope.

Dr El Mashaly examined the sick child. An injection was required for its treatment, but it was a very expensive injection. When the mother heard the price of the drug, tears flowed from her eyes and she said helplessly, "If I buy this drug, we will be hungry for a month." He had his other older child with him who came to help.

Seeing his mother's tearful despair, the older brother stopped for a moment. The window was open and the clinic was on the high floor of a building. He looked at his sick brother turned to his mother and said, "Mom, take care of my brother." Then he ran and threw himself out of the window. He was dead.

This tragic incident deeply affected Dr El Mashaly, the child who committed suicide in order to cut a dent in the household's budget and take care of his brother. He questioned himself for a long time and decided to dedicate himself to the poor. He was now the doctor of Egypt's strangers. He closed his luxury practice.

Doctor El Mashaly went and opened a new clinic in the poorest area of Tanta.

He examined all patients who came to the end of their lives here, free of charge, without charging any money. He gave healing.

The priority has always been Egypt's young children. He took care of them with all his effort.

He sold expensive luxury brand clothes and fed the poor.

Throughout his life, Doctor El Mashaly dressed like those poor people who ate, drank, and lived like them.

He was known and loved outside Egypt for this noble act of kindness that he initiated and continued with his love and compassion for humanity.

Life story

Doctor El Mashaly was known for helping patients with inadequate financial means at his clinic in Tanta City of Al-Gharbiyyah province of Egypt.

El Mashaly, known for examining patients in need free of charge, died suddenly on July 28, 2020.

While Al-Azhar Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayyib appreciated Al Mashali as "an exemplary person", UK Middle East Spokesperson Rosie Dyas shared on her social media account, "The world lost a great person who helped the poor by treating them today."

Years of difficulties

El Mashaly attracted attention with the life story he told in interviews published on local media outlets' websites.

El Mashaly, the child of a middle-class family, was born in 1944 in a neighborhood where the poor and needy were the majority.

In his interviews, El Mashaly stated that he "had a tough life struggle and started everything from scratch" and that he graduated from medical school in 1967.

After his graduation, El Mashaly was appointed as a doctor in one of the poorest regions of the country and retired in 2004.

He chose to help the poor

El Mashaly, who spent her life struggling to survive and raise her three sons as well as her brother's orphaned children, also extended a helping hand to those who were deprived of treatment.

El Mashaly said that since he opened his clinic in 1975, he has been trying to support "those who are tortured on earth", as the famous Egyptian writer Taha Hussein used for the oppressed segment of society.

El Mashaly, who said that the mother of a little child died because she did not have money to buy medicine, expressed sadness many times that this incident left deep scars on her.

El Mashaly stated that his father asked him to help the poor and that he did not ask for money many times from people who did not have financial means.

A humble life

As El Mashaly became popular after his interviews, there were many people who wanted to help him financially.

El Mashaly, who rejected the aid offer of hundreds of thousands of dollars from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), wanted this money to be spent on the needy, orphans and orphans.

Despite this, El Mashaly, who lives a very modest life, said in his interview, "The world gave me more than I wanted and deserved." he said.

Stating that there were people in need of help coming to El Mashaly's clinic even hours before his death, Al-Azhar Sheikh Tayyib emphasized that El Mashaly was an exemplary person.

His death was widely covered in the media

El Mashaly's sudden death was met with sadness in the Arab media and health-related platforms.

Bloggers and social media users expressed their admiration for El Mashaly's personality and stated that he tried to solve the problems of the poor until hours before his death and that he was a rare person.

El Mashaly's body was buried in the north of Egypt on July 28 (2020) under COVID-19 measures, with the participation of hundreds of people.

While Doctor El Mashaly was buried with prayers, he left behind beautiful memories where he will be remembered for the charity and kindness he did to the poor.

A media outlet in Egypt quoted El Mashaly as saying, "I advise you to treat the poor well." He included his will as follows.


Egypt pays tribute to doctor who dedicated his life to treating the poor

The dying words of an impoverished child spurred Mohammed Abdel-Ghafar El Mashaly to commit his life to medicine