Young Egyptian remembers father killed by COVID-19 as she heads back to school

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CAIRO (Reuters) – When 12-year-old Sama Mohamed’s father died of the coronavirus in May, the family tried cutting expenses. With the school year resuming this week in Egypt, buying a new uniform seemed unaffordable.

Unable to purchase a complete uniform costing 150 pounds ($9.58) from shops, she headed to a manufacturer in northern Cairo to buy just the regulatory T-shirt.

Flooded with unsold garments after schools shut in March because of the coronavirus lockdown, the factory sells uniforms for around 10 to 20 pounds less than shops, a significant figure for families already financially stricken by the pandemic.

Standing in her new shirt at home and getting ready to go to school, Mohamed remembered her father, whose picture she has saved on her laptop.

“He told me to stay strong and safe,” she said.

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