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October 28, 2017

Re: Facing old age and death

Al Bilad

Dear Dr. Mohamed

Really I enjoyed your short biography article. And discovered that there are so many common things between you and me, with few small differences and one big difference.

The first is that you are, officially, two days older than me.

The second that you are from a middle class family, and we were poorer than that, because when I started school we were in the first year of the "Palestinian Nakba", refugees in Lebanon.

With these tragic conditions I can't say that I was as brilliant as you were. But I never failed in any period of study, and when I became older I excelled in the university. Poverty and no educated parents and grand parents like yours helped in forming these conditions. But we all struggled to build a brighter future, and I think we did in spite of not having any thing. In Lebanon, till now, Palestinians have no even the civil rights.

My father when I was seven years old, and before taking me to school said to me, and I think all Palestinian fathers told their children the same meaning: "Look my son, as you see, we lost every thing. Now I have nothing to give you. No money, no home, no land nothing to inherit from me, The only thing that would benefit you in your life is knowledge and education. And so, Dr. Mohamed you now know why Palestinians are the most educated people among the Arab nation.

The one big difference, is that you had a country and a president and vice president and a government to help, while we had nothing of these to look after us, or to ask for help from them. But, fortunately, the government that helped you is the same government that helped me.

Till I finished the secondary period I was in the scientific department aiming to a practical faculty like engineering or medicine or ..... but it was impossible to enter these fields for financial reasons. And so I was obliged to enter the Faculty of Arts, Arabic Literature department, in Beirut Arabic University which is a branch of Alexandria University to graduate in 1967. If it were not Alexandria University there in Beirut, I would never be able to study in the Lebanese University or the American University. Even for my post graduate studies in Cairo I used to pay 3.75 Egyptian pounds a year. Because of that I said the government that helped you is the same government that helped me.

Now to the most common thing between us is that in spite of seventy four years behind us, we are still working hard and giving. All thanks and praise is due to Allah the Almighty.

Wish you good health and prosperous years to come.

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