Saturday, August 26, 2006

An Egyptian Baha'i: In Search Of Recognition (Cont. 3)

So far in this case, Mustapha had simply requested that he should be given a family allowance and cost of living increase after the birth of his son. Instead he had been declared an apostate, his marriage was considered null and void, and his son was declared illegitimate and also deserved to be killed!

Mustapha married in March 1947, the couple had a son in January 1948, and he filed his lawsuit in January 1950 requesting two family allowance adjustments to his salary on the account of his marriage and the arrival of his son, dating back to March 1947. Meanwhile he continued to work for the Egyptian Railways, being transferred from one train station to another in the Suez Canal region of the country.

He was moved from Ismailia to al-Qassasin, to al-Qantarah, to al-Tal el-Kabir, to al-Firdan, and back to Ismailia. Fortunately all these stations were a short free train ride to his home in Ismailia, allowing him to be as close as possible to his newly-founded family. He would always return home carrying fresh fruits that were locally grown where he was stationed. In season, he would bring large bamboo baskets filled with the delicious ripe mangoes for which the area has been well-known.

Because of his extreme kindness, affability, trustworthiness, competence and dedication to his work, he was loved and trusted by his co-workers and employees despite their awareness of his religious convictions and his ongoing struggle being in a litigation with his governmental employer. The Egyptian Railways has always been a government agency.

He was also able to maintain his balance as a husband and a father. He did not allow his entanglements with his employer or the threats to his own life, and to the continued existence of his family, interfere with his love and devotion to family, friends and Faith. Amazingly he was able to educate his child and insulate him from his worries and the constant uncertainties. In fact, his son had grown unaware of how serious his family's situation had been at a certain point. Only years later did he realize the sacrifices and the courage of his father, who had always remained silent and accepting of his fate and lot in life.

To be continued....


  1. enbfoDear Bilo,

    You managed to capture our hearts and minds with this story. It is one that definitely needed to be told. I hope that you will let us know what happened to the child and is he connected to the current struggle of this unique and courageous community?

  2. Nesreen,

    The story will gradually unfold, but it is a long one with trials, twists and turns. It will be unveiled, time permitting, in little snippets....


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