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  • Writer's pictureAmal Sedky Winter

The Sufi Driver

To reduce pollution, the Egyptian government decreed that taxis older than 1989 be replaced by newer ones and has set-up financing so that cab drivers, who exhaust themselves to make a scant living, can pay for the new cars.

Nice for those with the oldest cars, but what about those whose cars aren’t old enough to benefit from the government support? What customer flags down a rickety old Russian-made Lada when they could ride around in a new , comfortable air-conditioned Honda?

"Aren’t the drivers of the old cabs losing out?" I asked.

“With all due respect to you, madam and meaning no offense,” the cab driver said. “It is God above and only Him who determines what I earn. By the time we die, from the top of our hair to the tips of our toes, we gets exactly what we are meant to receive. El hamdu lillah, thanks be to God”

"El hamdu-lilaah, thanks be to God" I chorused.

“I admire the Imam Mahmoud who was a man of knowledge”, he went on, “may he rest in peace. Scientists and men of knowledge are walk in the footsteps of the Prophets."

“I have a video of the Iman describing nature and living things. He puts a microscope into a beehive and shows how the world works. Every bee has a job: soldiers, workers, feeders. Everyone has a place. And they all praise God.”

He turned his head to look into my eyes. “They bees dance and put their heads to the ground. ‘El hamdu lillah,’ they say. So do the pigeons and other birds.” He crooked his finger up and down in a

pecking motion.

“Every living creature gives thanks to God.”

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