Saturday, April 09, 2016

My friend Mohammed

During my Moroccan adventure I met Mohammed Janati from Larache and was introduced to him by Moroccan Mascherano (Mustafa) and my Stepney FC team mate Rachid.  

Mohammed is 58 years of age and works from dawn to dusk as a fish boat labourer. 

He has a severe inguinal hernia and lifted his shirt and showed me his stomach. There is a growth on the side of his belly equivalent to a mini football. 

Mohammed's job is to lift the fish off the boats when they arrive in port and then transport them to the warehouse and prepare before the arrival of the purchasing market traders. It's a role that requires serious energy and physical exertion.  

His Doctor has strictly forbidden him from working but it's not as straightforward as that. There is no welfare system to fall back on. Mohammed is a proud and hard working man. There is no other option. He has eight children of which two are married and independent of his support. The rest are very young. "I have to work, I have no professional skills to take an office job. I have to support my family. I never complain as there are people far worse off than me. I'm grateful for the treasures I have. But it's hard and my only regret is I'm so busy being a breadwinner that I don't have time to guide and spend time with my children. My health restricts my movement greatly but I will carry on."

I could do nothing but hug him. As I did this I felt a warm current flow through me and I've made myself a lifelong connection. 

The fisherman's hand has hooked and reeled me in. 

An operation for Mohammed will cost £580.00. God willing I hope to have this sorted within a fortnight. All I request is your encouragement and prayers. 

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