Humans of NY http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.1 http://humansofnewyork.tumblr.com/ “When I was a boy I’d skip school to sell roses on the street....

“When I was a boy I’d skip school to sell roses on the street.  My parents gave up trying to educate me.  They said: ‘He’s lost his mind over the roses.’  I wanted to be around flowers all the time.  I sold so many that I opened my own kiosk across from a famous country club.  But I could never sell on Fridays.  The police would close our entire street so the governor could visit the club.  But once I ignored their instructions.  It was the day before Mother’s Day.  My biggest day of the year.  So I took a chance and remained open.  When the police found out, they confiscated all my flowers.  They even took my license.  It was a fatal blow.  All my money was in those flowers.  I had piles of them.  So I had to start from zero.  I’m a street vendor again.  For awhile I was ashamed, but I’m fine with it now.  It’s better than working for someone.  I buy the roses I want, and sell them to whoever I want.  Maybe I’ll have a shop again.  But as long as I’m around my roses, I’ll always feel peaceful.”  
(Cairo, Egypt)

http://www.humansofnewyork.com/post/178350391051

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Sat, 22 Sep 2018 17:14:24 +0000 http://www.humansofnewyork.com/post/178350391051 http://www.humansofnewyork.com/post/178350391051
“My mom has nobody to care for her but me.  The last stroke...

“My mom has nobody to care for her but me.  The last stroke affected her brain so badly.  She’s like the living dead.  All she can do now is breathe.  Last month I found a small wound on her toe.  I thought it was something small.  It looked so small.  So I just put a bandage on it.  But it was the beginning of gangrene.  I should have known.  It spread and the doctors had to amputate her leg.  It’s all my fault, but I was under so much pressure.  I’m a single mom.  I work as a housekeeper.  What do I focus on? What do I pay for?  My kids’ education?  Food?  My mom’s care?  It’s just too much.  It’s all on me.  I called my sister last week and screamed at her.  I screamed at her for never calling.  I screamed at her for not helping.  I told her that I wished she would die.   And my wish came true.  Four days ago she passed away.  When I saw her at the morgue, she had no hair, no eyebrows, nothing.  She had been hiding cancer from us.  I feel so guilty.  My wish came true.  But I didn’t know because she never called!  I haven’t eaten since yesterday.  Only a cup of milk.  I can’t keep doing this. It’s too much pressure.  I’m not doing well.  I’m not OK.”
(Cairo, Egypt)

http://www.humansofnewyork.com/post/178319763311

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Fri, 21 Sep 2018 18:30:20 +0000 http://www.humansofnewyork.com/post/178319763311 http://www.humansofnewyork.com/post/178319763311
“I read a lot on the subject.  I studied the texts.  And I...

“I read a lot on the subject.  I studied the texts.  And I decided it was permissible to take it off, so that’s what I did.  My mom was terrified of what people would think.  She asked me to delete all our mutual friends on Facebook.  She said if I didn’t wear the hijab, then I couldn’t live at home.  So I packed four big bags and went to live with a friend.  It was the first time I’d ever slept out of my house.  Over the next few weeks, I sent my parents messages every single day.  I always told them where I was, what I was doing, and who I was with.  I wanted to show that I forgave them, and that I was still their girl, and that one day things would be normal again.  They didn’t respond for three months.  Until one holiday my uncle called and invited me home for dinner.  My parents started crying as soon as I walked in the door.  They’d prepared a huge meal.  They said that they didn’t mean it, and that they love me a lot, and that they’re proud of me.  Things are very good now.  We get along even better than when I obeyed.  They see I’m doing great things with my freedom.  I have a great job and I travel.  They’re very proud.  I’ve learned to do what you want in life.  Because if you do, the world will change to match you.”  
(Alexandria, Egypt)

http://www.humansofnewyork.com/post/178291104221

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Thu, 20 Sep 2018 21:03:01 +0000 http://www.humansofnewyork.com/post/178291104221 http://www.humansofnewyork.com/post/178291104221
“The entrepreneurial community in Egypt is a bit like a baby....

“The entrepreneurial community in Egypt is a bit like a baby.  It’s still learning to speak, and to read, and to understand.  It exists, but only a small number of people have access.  You must have connections. Because without them, it’s impossible to grow a business.  There are too many layers of bureaucracy.  Every decision requires a permit, and every permit requires a signature. A business can be stalled for months waiting on a single approval.  Unless you have connections, then everything can be fixed with a single phone call.  This dynamic must change.  The system needs to work for everybody.  The country will never be competitive unless entrepreneurs are able to move fast.  But I don’t think the answer is government.  The answer is entrepreneurship itself.  Our start-ups must begin making money. Because money means control.  And when entrepreneurs are in control, things will start working.”
(Cairo, Egypt)

http://www.humansofnewyork.com/post/178284699556

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Thu, 20 Sep 2018 16:55:24 +0000 http://www.humansofnewyork.com/post/178284699556 http://www.humansofnewyork.com/post/178284699556
“My husband died a long time ago.  He was in a car accident....

“My husband died a long time ago.  He was in a car accident.  My daughter was only four years old at the time, and I was pregnant with my son.  But I overcame it all.  Life is difficult but God is generous.  I found a job working at this building.  I’m an old lady now, but if anything is needed from the store, or anything needs to be cleaned, I can still do it.  I’ve been here for 50 years, in a little apartment on the roof.  I raised my children up there.  All of the people in the building love me.  They’re like my family.  They tell me: ‘Anything you need for your house, just let us know.’  Whenever I’m sick, they always call me.  They say: ‘Where were you yesterday?’  And it’s not just the people in this building.  The whole neighborhood loves me.  I mean, they’re practically my own.  I raised every one of them.”  
(Cairo, Egypt)

http://www.humansofnewyork.com/post/178256050061

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Wed, 19 Sep 2018 19:51:47 +0000 http://www.humansofnewyork.com/post/178256050061 http://www.humansofnewyork.com/post/178256050061
“I was married when I was seventeen.  My whole life was my...

“I was married when I was seventeen.  My whole life was my family.  I barely left the house because my husband brought me everything I needed.  I was far too innocent.  I had no idea about anything, but the world has a way of teaching you.  Fifteen years ago my husband died and I had to take the lead of the family.  He owned an upholstery shop.  The workers tried to convince me to let them handle the business, but they were hiding the profits from me.  I had to take over.  There was no other choice.  My kids were still in school and that money belonged to them.  So I began going to the shop every day.  At first the workers tried to box me out.  They knew I didn’t understand the business so they wouldn’t explain anything.  They hid the numbers from me.  And when a client entered the store, they wouldn’t even introduce me as the owner.  But I sat there and watched every move they made.  I memorized everything.  And after forty days, there were some new rules at the shop.  The workers were not allowed to speak to the client directly.”
(Cairo, Egypt)

http://www.humansofnewyork.com/post/178221008726

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Tue, 18 Sep 2018 19:01:23 +0000 http://www.humansofnewyork.com/post/178221008726 http://www.humansofnewyork.com/post/178221008726