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Cloth Printing Machine

Episode 191

Mr. E. B. F.  – September, 2, 2016


Mr. E. B. F. and the Cloth Printing Machine

The poor have always been dreaming of a prosperous life. Their dream almost came true on January 25, 2011, as a revolution broke out demanding prosperity, equality and social justice. However, that dream was soon to vanish like vapor or, worse, become a nightmare, as a security breach occurred throughout Egypt after January 28 (also known as Wrath Friday).

This had a terrible impact on Mr. A.F.B. After he had been successfully managing his trade, selling goods in Matariyya, Al-Marj, and Ezbet al-Nakhl, and making profit, he lost everything. Muggers and high-way men who spread everywhere used to threaten him to take either his money or his life. Thus, he had to stay indoors for a whole year. At that time, he either borrowed money from close friends, or resorted to the Church. Yet, being quite sensitive, he could not continue this way. He was overwhelmed by debt to such an extent that he had to make his eldest son leave middle school.

Eventually, he went to work for an owner of picture printing machine. The man would sell pictures to bookshops or churches and give him a fifty-pound daily wage. At certain times, the owner would dispense with him for several days, which would make him and his family spend days without food. To make matters worse, Mr. A.F.B.’s mother is old and sick. Unless her daughter-in-law serves her, she cannot help herself, which renders it hard for the latter to seek a job to bring food for the family. Adding on, the family lives in a rented flat. According to the new law, they have to pay a monthly rental fee of 450 L.E. Meanwhile, this sum has trebled due to the father’s hard working condition.

Moreover, he is thinking of making his younger son leave primary school. What makes it quite heart-rending is that his youngest son, who is in kindergarten, would ask him for sweets and the like which he cannot afford. Mr. A.F.B.’s brothers are equally destitute. They can hardly provide for their families. In effect, he cannot seek their help.

To solve his financial problems, pay his debts, brings medications for his sick mother, feed his family, and pay the house rental fee, Mr. E. B. F. needs a cloth printing machine.