Equal Partners
by Roland Ezri

Equal Partners by Roland Ezri

Equal Partners

By Roland Ezri

"Women are the backbone of all societies. They do a substantial part of the work, and play a major role in raising the future generation yet they are largely powerless. The decisions that count are made by men and foisted upon women."

Writings by Roland Ezri

The Second Exodus – Egypt – CXLVIII. Proverbs (5 of 5)

6. Dafana sawa 

We buried him together.

This expression is my favorite because of the captivating (fictional) story behind it.

It applies to a person who keeps a secret until somebody from his past emerges and let the cat out of the bag. For instance, that individual may be of humble origins, but he had told everybody that he was born into wealth.

Barhoum invites Mamdouh to his village. Mamdouh is treated like royalty and have a wonderful time. But after a week, he has to go back to his business.

On the day of departure, the two men walk to the train station. On their way, they find a dead dog by the side of the road.

Mamdouh says to his friend: “We can’t leave that dog like that, we have to bury him. My train is not yet due; I can help you.”

Barhoum agrees and the two of them buries the dog. But Barhoum is hesitant, he tells Mamdouh, “We need to surround the grave with stones, and beautify it, only then would we have given that dog a decent burial. But you have a train to catch, therefore, I’ll do that myself.”

After a lot of hugging and salamat (goodbyes), Mamdouh departs.

Barhoum works very hard to make the grave as attractive as possible; after surrounding it with stones, he returns to his home and brings a variety of plants that he plants on the grave. When he is finished, he stands back to admire his handiwork; and he is well pleased.

He is now ready to leave when he hears a young woman calling him: “Ya sidi (sir) who is buried here?”

Barhoum is in a facetious mood, so he invents a fable: “It’s a saint, and I am in charge of keeping his grave in as good a state as possible.”

“Is he a powerful saint?” she asked.

“Very much so,” he replied. “He performed many miracles during his life.”

Hearing that, this young lady became very agitated. “Can he perform a miracle for me?”

“Possibly. Tell me what you need, and I’ll pray to him. My intervention has often worked in the past,” he told her.

“My story is a sad one; the truth is that I am desperate,” she advised him with tears in her eyes. “I have been married for three years and have been unable to conceive. My husband is about to divorce me.”

“Let’s see what we can do about that,” he replied.

To make a long story short, that women gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, 9 months to the day after the “saint” performed yet another miracle!

The story of that “miracle” spread like wildfire in the village, on to neighboring villages, and finally to the big Egyptian cities. In time, other parts of the world, heard of the saint and his miracles.

The afflicted came from far and wide. On any given day, the grave was surrounded by people on crutches, in wheelchairs, and even on stretchers. It became a Lourdes of sort!

Barhoum talked to the sick and the ailing, and to their relatives. Once he has made his “diagnosis,” he prayed for the saint’s intervention.

To be sure, most people that came to that pilgrimage were not cured; however, some obtained the miraculous recovery they had come for. Such is the power of the mind.

I don’t need to tell you that Barhoum was generously paid for his “professional” services.

Years went by. Barhoum was now a very wealthy man. To his credit, he gave large sums to charity, and accepted poor patients pro bono (free of charge). He continued to live in the same village, to be, as it were, near his place of business! Of course, the village itself grew and became world famous.

One day, an old man who was crippled by arthritis, came to solicit the help of the saint. He waited until all patients had left, and then approached Barhoum. He described his illness, and talked about his constant pain. Barhoum, then went into deep prayers. Thereafter, the following exchange took place.

“You’re a good candidate for a miracle. You will soon be able to throw your cane away,” said Barhoum.

“God bless you, brother,” said the man. He then started to leave.

“Not so fast,” countered Barhoum. He stretched his hand to clearly indicate that he expected to be paid.

“How so?” asked the man.

“You’re paying me for my services,” said Barhoum. “However, if you’re too poor, it’s free.”

“I am a well-to-do businessman, I can afford to pay you,” said the man. He then added, “look at me, don’t you remember me. I am Mamdouh, your friend.” He then pointed at the grave and said: “WE BURIED HIM TOGETHER.”

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