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Jordan: the schoolboy who made 1000 masks for refugees

The young Jordanian boy Mogtaba Fadol, helped by his brother Ahmed, aged respectively 10 and 12, recently showed their solidarity by making more than a thousand masks for the refugees in Egypt.

His birthday falls on World Refugee Day. This is probably why Mogtaba Fadol, 10 (soon to be 11), with the help of his brother Ahmed, 12, decided that this year he would spend it helping his fellow man. Using a sewing machine provided by the community and scraps of fabric, the two young Jordanians worked to make some 1,000 protective masks for refugees in Egypt.

“These are very dangerous times. Many people are getting sick from the coronavirus so I wanted to do something to help”. Words of candor both beautiful and terrible, dropped by the young man, still bustling in the midst of a multitude of colors and patterns.

It is his school in Amman, the country’s capital, that urges each of his students to show empathy, respect, etc., and to behave in a respectful manner.

Photo credits: Charlie Faulkner for The National


Hereditary empathy

Why Egypt instead of somewhere else? Quite simply because the neighboring country, which is much more affected by the health crisis currently affecting the world (47,000 cases, 1,700 deaths compared to only 1,000 cases and 9 deaths in Jordan) has put in place measures requiring the wearing of masks by the entire population. Knowing this, little Mogtaba thought, quite rightly, that not all refugees would be able to provide it for their whole family. So he wanted to help them. A move to his credit.

The two young men still have to perfect their sewing skills, until they no longer need the help of their mother, who still supervises the work. The latter, a former employee of the United Nations Refugee Agency for 16 years, is indirectly responsible for the approach. Thanks to his profession, and to his family’s visits to his place of work in Egypt, the two schoolchildren have acquired a good understanding of humanitarian issues. The masks will leave for Egypt on June 20, on the boy’s birthday…


Published on 17 June 2020