Dubai: Outstanding Egyptian student Ibrahim Abdul Nasser Rajab, who sells “friska” sweets at the seaside of Alexandria, never imagined that appearing in a one-minute video would change his life and earn him a full scholarship to study medicine and pursue his dream of becoming a surgeon.
The student, who got 99.6 per cent in the general secondary school exam, recently appeared in the video, which went viral on social media, speaking about his dream to study medicine but saying that he could not because he sells friska sweets to help his father earn money for his family.
Friska is made of two crispy wafers with honey in between. The top ones have either peanuts, coconut, or sesame seeds.
The video captured the attention of thousands of social media users who described the friska salesman as a true honourable model for Egyptians. A large number of social media users shared the video that shows the young Egyptian student carrying a box of friska sweets on his back and roaming along the Alexandria beach, garnering an overwhelming reaction.
“Ibrahim is a source of inspiration for many due to his diligence and excellence, as well as his dedication to helping his father to earn food for their family.
Hany Younis, media adviser to the Egyptian Prime Minister, wrote on his personal page on Facebook said: “I contacted the hard-working student and informed him that Khalid Abdul Ghaffar, Minister of Higher Education, has awarded him a full scholarship to study medicine at Alexandria University.”
In a televised statement, Younis said a telecommunication company has pledged an annual amount of 100,000 Egyptian pounds for the student, while a national bank announced issuance of an investment certificate.
Ibrahim’s mother told local media: “Ibrahim usually leaves home early morning and returns late, as he helps his father in selling friska sweets on the beach. He also sells fruit in a small shop we own.“Ibrahim started helping his father in selling friska since he was in grade 4 at the primary school. He never complained. Although he spends long hours in helping his father, Ibrahim is known for his excellence in school.”
She added: “My son, Ibrahim, knows exactly what he wants as he has set his goal since he was a child and is always proud of his father. I hope he will become a doctor to serve the poor.”
The overwhelming reaction to the video has gone beyond Egypt, Turki Al Sheikh, Chairman of the Saudi General Authority for Entertainment, appealed to those who can to connect him with the young friska seller. On his Facebook page, Al Sheikh wrote: “I am looking for a way to communicate with this righteous son. Who can connect me with him and share with me Allah’s reward?”
Meanwhile, Hatem Khater, who filmed the video, said: “Allah wants to do good for this student. God knows that there are many good young people in this country who will build its future, and they only need people need to see them.”
He added in a televised interview: “There are many young people who appreciate the value of education and work, and have respect for themselves, stressing that such young people need to be highlighted.”
Khater clarified that he noticed a young man selling friska on a beach in Alexandria, saying: “I was sitting on the beach where I saw a young man with a beautiful smile, and I truly loved him at first sight.”
“When I asked him about his education, I learned that he excelled in high school and scored 99.6 per cent. I filmed the video for my friends and children to watch and had never expected it would go viral and receive such sweeping reaction,” Khater said. He expressed the hope to see other honourable models like Ibrahim.
Friska is usually sold on Egyptian beaches.