“Exchange Student Starved While in Egypt”
February 29, 2008 § 1 Comment
A 17-year-old American traveled to Egypt for a year-long exchange program where he stayed with a family of Coptic Christians and claimed that they withheld food from him. Over the course of a year (correction: 6 months), he dropped down to 97 pounds. This is, of course, a story being spread in the English-language media under the above headline as well as, “Emaciated in Egypt: Exchange gone wrong.” Click here for the story and the pictures.
The student’s story seems legit and it does appear that the host family did not provide all the food they should have, but does this constitute “starvation”? It’s slightly ridiculous, but I only posted it because the host father’s reaction to charges of “starving the boy” is priceless. He said:
“The truth is, the boy we hosted for nearly six months was eating for an hour and a half at every meal. The amount of food he ate at each meal was equal to six people,” Hanna said.
I think most people that stay in the Middle East for a year come back practically obese. Plus, a shawarma in Egypt costs about 75 cents! Eating a meal of meat covered in sheep fat is kind of a solution to starvation, no? Markets are also plentiful. And besides, the student’s diet doesn’t seem tantamount to starvation.
He said he never got breakfast and his first food of the day usually was a small piece of bread with cucumbers and cheese that he would take to school for lunch. There was a late-afternoon dinner consisting of beans, vegetables and sometimes fish, and a snack of bread later in the evening.
Late-afternoon? Beans and vegetables, but only sometimes fish? The horror!