There lived a family in the quiet and small mountain village in Egypt. Father, Mother and their two kids Fatima and Abdullah. The parents used to work hard day and night to provide for the family.
One day, Fatima wanted to buy a hair clip which all the girls in her class seemed to have. So one day she stole 2 Egyptian pounds from her father’s pocket. Father discovered the stolen money right away. He called Abdullah and Fatima and asked them about the stolen money.
Fatima was too scared to talk. Neither of them admitted the fault so the father said, “All right, if none of you want to tell the truth, I will have to punish you both” Suddenly, Abdullah grabbed his father’s hand and said, “Father, it was me who stole the money.” Abdullah took all the blame and punishment on him to save his sister.
Fatima always thought about this incident and one day she cried out loud as she couldn’t take it anymore, but her little brother covered her mouth with his little hands and said, “Dear sister, don’t cry now, everything has happened.” Abdullah loved his sister very much. Fatima was 10 years old and Abdullah was 7 years old when this incident had happened. Years passed, but the incident seemed to Fatima like it just happened yesterday.
When Abdullah was accepted in an upper secondary school in the town, Fatima was accepted into a university in Cairo. One night, Fatima overheard her parents talk. Her father asked her mother about their kids’ results, if they were doing well in studies. Mother wiped off her tears and sighed, “What is the use? How can we possibly finance both of them?” At that moment, Abdullah walked into the room and said, “Father, I would not like to continue my study anymore, I have read enough books.” Father became angry and said, “Why do you have a spirit so weak? Even if it means I have to beg for money in the streets, I will send you both to school until you have both finished your studies” And then the father started to knock on every house in their village to borrow money.
Fatima went to Abdullah and told him, “A boy should continue his study. If not, they will not be able to overcome the poverty they were facing.” Fatima instead decided that she had decided not to further her study at the university.
The next day, everybody in the house was surprised to learn that Abdullah had left the house with a few pieces of worn-out clothes and a little money. Fatima found a note beside her pillow which read, “Dear Sister, getting into University is not easy. I will go find a job and will send you money so that you complete your graduation”. Fatima sat there whole day with the note in her hand, and cried until she lost her voice.
Two years passed by, and with the money the father had borrowed from whole village, and the money her brother earned from selling newspapers and working as a labour at a construction site, finally, Fatima got into her third year of University. That year Abdullah was 18 and Fatima 21 years old.
One day, when Fatima was studying in her room one of her friends came and told her that there was a villager waiting to meet her outside the hostel. Fatima wondered who could this villager be and walked out only to see her brother Abdullah waiting to meet her sister at the gates of the hostel.
She ran to him and asked him, “Why didn’t you tell my friend that you are my brother?” Abdullah’s whole body was covered in dust and cement. He had just returned from his work. He replied, “Just look at my appearance, I am so dirty, what would your friends think if they know that I am your brother? Wouldn’t they laugh at you?” Fatima’s eyes filled with tears and she told with a lump in her throat, “I don’t care what people say! You are my brother no matter what your appearance”
From his bag, he took out a beautiful red headscarf and gave it to his sister and told, “I know how much you love headscarves and recently I saw that all the girls in the town are wearing these beautiful hand woven headscarves so I bought one for you too” That year Abdullah was 21 and Fatima was 24 years old.
After Fatima got married, she lived in the city with her husband who was a nice human being. Many a times her husband invited Fatima’s parents to go and live with them in the city, but they always refused. The parents would say once they left the village they wouldn’t know what to do. Abdullah also agreed with them and told his sister, “We are fine in the village by God’s grace. You just take care of your husband and parents-in-law. I will take care of our parents here”
Fatima’s husband became the president of his factory. They approached Abdullah with an offer to become one of the department managers in the factory, but Abdullah rejected the offer. He insisted on working as a repairman for a start.
One day, Abdullah was working on a ladder repairing a cable, when he suddenly fell from the ladder and was rushed to the hospital.Fatima and husband visited him at the hospital. Looking at the plaster cast on his hand, Fatima grumbled, “Why didn’t you listen to us? Why did you reject the offer of being a manager?” Managers don’t do something dangerous like that. Look at you now – you are suffering a serious injury.
Abdullah became serious and defended his decision of rejecting the offer saying, “Sis, think of your husband, he just became the president. If I, being uneducated would become a manager, what kind of rumours would spread in the factory?” Fatima’s husband’s eyes filled up with tears. Fatima exclaimed, “But your lack in education is only because of me!” Abdullah interrupted her “Why do you talk of the past?” he said. That year Abdullah was 27 and Fatima was 30 years old.
After 3 years when Abdullah turned 30 he married a farmer girl in the village. During the wedding reception, the master of ceremonies asked Abdullah, “Who is the one person you respect and love the most?” Without taking time to think Abdullah replied, “My sister”
He continued by telling a story about him and his sister which Fatima could not remember. He said “When I was in primary school, the school was in a different village. Everyday me and my sister would walk for almost 3 hours to school and back home. One day, during winter, I had lost one of my hand gloves and my sister gave me one of hers. She wore only one glove and she had to walk far. When we got home her hands were trembling because of cold weather so much so that she couldn’t even hold her books properly. From that day on, I swore that as long as I lived I would take care of my sister and would always be good to her”
Applause filled up the room. Fatima was so touched to hear this and tears started rolling down her face. She thanked her brother abundantly for all his sacrifices and told that the one person she respected the most was her brother Abdullah.
Moral of the story
Love and care for your near and dear ones every single day of your life. Never miss an opportunity to do any good that you can do to your family and friends. You may think what you did is just a small deed, but to that someone, it may mean a lot.