We starve exchange students

Now here is a heart-warming story!

0 comment on We starve exchange students

  1. superluli
    February 29, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    you gotta admit though, the stories do not add up. His story doesn’t add up, i mean he didn’t have 50p for a foul sandwich? and the family’s story doesn’t make sense, he ate for 1.5 hours? sersiously? loosing 50 pounds is not something you can miss…

  2. Jeff
    February 29, 2008 at 2:24 pm

    I don’t believe this kid. Sounds like a crazy anorexic.

  3. Toady
    February 29, 2008 at 2:46 pm

    Both stories sound suspicious.

  4. khaled
    February 29, 2008 at 4:06 pm

    i think its fake too. $3 can buy him the biggest mac sandwich in Egypt. i don’t believe his daddy didn’t give him that.

  5. Charlie
    February 29, 2008 at 4:43 pm

    Yeah, agreed on the both stories. Maybe we could make him stay another year until the whole situation becomes more clear. Or maybe fix him up with that English chick who went to Egypt to marry some other guy (as the original guy she went to marry, wouldn’t marry her so she opted for plan B or something like that). Hmm… is every westerner who goes to Egypt a complete freak?

    Wow, 6064 comments and counting. You only have 4 Sandmonkey. Now 5. I’m just doing my bit.

  6. AF
    February 29, 2008 at 5:02 pm

    eih elnatana deeh. The guy is anorexic and the family is cheap as fuck, perfect fit. Thats the story.

  7. anna
    February 29, 2008 at 5:47 pm

    “Hmm… is every westerner who goes to Egypt a complete freak?”

    this isn’t fake, this is retarded. if you’re hungry, you buy food! you can get a sandwich for 50 pt., that’s 10 whole cents, a packet of crisps costs 15 cents. He shouldn’t be traveling alone if he can’t do simple maths and can’t be trusted to feed himself when he’s hungry.

  8. EgyPeter
    February 29, 2008 at 7:13 pm

    This story really upsets me.

    If the kid was starved, this father needs to be slapped upside the head…a couple of times.

    But some good points are brought up. Why couldn’t he buy a 30 cent ful sandwich?? Maybe not the tastiest thing in the world but tons of protein.

    And my parents growing up fasted all of our Church fasts and I’m a (not so) solid 155 pounds!! And “fasting” doesn’t mean going without food, just means abstaining from animal products.

    Something went terribly wrong here, that kid almost died. And to be honest, the family is probably responsible. I mean, he was under THEIR care, after all.

  9. max
    February 29, 2008 at 9:42 pm

    This story is very weird to me too and I am just like EgyPeter, except my weight is 165 pounds. but if the story is true hten this family should be punished. When my family is fasting abd i’ve a Muslim friend or even a Christean friend who isn’t fasting staying over or even staying for more than 3 hours we must get him something.

  10. Twosret
    February 29, 2008 at 10:18 pm

    A kid who can use facebook can’t send a message to his parents to send him money by Western Union because he is starving? this story is a fake story and I can’t believe that at his age he was sent overseas and he can’t deal with a situation like this.

    Stealing food from a Grocery store????? He can steal food from Grocery store and he can’t ask any of his friends in school for food or for money to call his parents?

    My mother sent me for a school exchange at the age of 15 and I stayed with a stingy British family that provided me with very little food. My mom gave me enough money and I knew what to do. Buy food if I’m hungry not go and steal food.

    Absoulutely ridiculous!

  11. R.Elgayar
    February 29, 2008 at 11:14 pm

    I am Coptic also, and there is plenty of food to eat during the fasts. No one is starving. And I find it hard to believe that a family hosting a kid from another part of the world would not provide food for him since he doesn’t share in their religious cutoms. I personally wouldn’t force anyone in my own family to fast if they don’t want to. This is a personal choice. Very strange story. But I agree that the Egyptian family was ultimately responsible for this boy in their care and they would expect the same for their child who is being hosted by another family. That is alot of weight loss and they should have been concerned.

  12. Twosret
    March 1, 2008 at 1:57 am

    R. Elgayar,

    The only thing this family should have done is to correspond with his family or the organization to report his weight loss. Not many people in Egypt will imagine the trouble it can cause them but there is something behind this boy’s behaviour.

  13. Patrick
    March 1, 2008 at 3:30 am

    God, this is such bad publicity for Egypt and this kid is such a fraud. He is incapable of walking outside, going to a Metro market or a McDonald’s and picking up a burger for a buck or a sandwich for 50 cents? Also, the news stories are misleading, claiming that Copts “fast” 200 days a year without explaining that a “fast” is merely an abstention from meat, chicken, and dairy products, and is just replacing those products with seafood and vegetables. Furthermore, Copts are not vegetarian by religious rite as the ABC story absurdly concludes. If this kid thought he was capable of living in Egypt for six months why didn’t he go out and buy food for himself? Get food from friends in his school? Or REPORT TO AFS AND ASK TO BE MOVED OR TO GO HOME. Why is AFS expected to be his babysitter during this thing? If the family was inhospitable, which it sounds like they were, then he should have either taken care of himself or LEFT. This is absurd. Kids are such crybabies now. If AFS gets sued over this, this country is fucked.

  14. antares
    March 1, 2008 at 4:20 am

    I see plenty of blame to go around.

    But consider this: “He [Jonathan McCullum] wants to visit Zimbabwe this summer as part of a volunteer program to build homes and trails.”

    ‘Visit Zimbabwe’? The kid has suicidal tendencies.

    I nominate this stupid fuck for this year’s Darwin Award.

    You! Outa the gene pool!

  15. anna
    March 1, 2008 at 11:48 am

    the family had responsibility to report that he’d lost weight but I don’t trust anything that report says about the family not giving him enough food. Reason being, that it can’t even get basic facts right. copts don’t fast for 200 days, that’s a joke for starters. as others have pointed out, the journalist also failed to say that those fasts do not involve a reduction in amount of food eaten. they eat the same amount of food but different things, so instead of having meat, they’ll eat fish. ie a coptic fast equals going vegetarian in every sense but fish is allowed.

    two, me too. i stayed with a host family when i was young in a foreign country, who were tight as hell. I had to buy my own food . this guy is 17 years old, not 5. instead of suing, the parents should be focusing their energies on teaching their son how to look after himself.

  16. Twosret
    March 1, 2008 at 4:08 pm


    I can’t tell you how mad I am about such lies 🙁 anyone who knows Egyptians will know that the majority of Egyptians are very kind hosts especially when it comes to food. We revolve around food and we live to eat. Any Egyptian here will know that we are very hospitable people especially when it comes to food. It doesn’t mean that there aren’t stingy people in Egypt.

    I would like to call it lent not fast the reason is people think that fasting is like how muslim fast Ramadan without food or any drink. If this kid or his family knew anything or read anything about Coptic Orthdodox faith they will know that Coptic Orthodox families eat protein in lent.

    There are some Lent periods where we don’t eat fish in the Coptic Orthodox faith like the 55 days before Easter. No dairy products or fish, that is true but when you look at the vegan diet and the most popular dishes in Egypt you will find the following:-

    There is 18-20 grams of protein in Fava beans, at least
    13 grams of protein in red lentils
    8 grams of protein in black lentils
    As for the feta cheese they mention in the report there is 5 grams of protein

    I think people are taking Hanna’s responses the wrong way when people say in Egypt he ate for six people he means he ate very well.

    How many times did this mother ask her son in a year time for his pictures? How many times did she skype or video conference with her son? How many times did Daddy ask his son if he needs money?

    If they did once they would have realized that he LOST WEIGHT.

  17. anna
    March 1, 2008 at 6:49 pm

    i stand corrected, a vegan diet- just that i know folks who eat ‘gebna seyami’

  18. Mohamed
    March 2, 2008 at 9:23 am

    You’re absolutely right, our generosity in offering food is unparalleled, even if we don’t sincerely mean it. Also, I don’t think that a vegan diet would make anyone lose weight at all, the chubbiest girls at my office one is vegan and the other’s a fruitarian.

  19. Laura
    March 2, 2008 at 4:57 pm

    For all the posts above, this comes from a student that passed by the same experience.
    It doesn’t happen only in Egypt and it didn’t happen because the kid was there…
    The kid’s story might be very real or at least is possible since it also happened to me and colleagues of mine, among which are also students from Egypt (and it happened in completely different parts of the world).
    Best regards to everybody.

  20. Khanundrum
    March 6, 2008 at 12:53 am

    This story sounds like a crock.
    Somebody get that kid a tub of koshary. He’ll bounce right back.

  21. etran
    September 5, 2008 at 9:50 pm

    They are a cult. My boyfriend’s girlfriend has an associate that was invited to a party by an orthodox coptic member. She was out for a few hours after one drink and got a drug test. They found barbiturate which is used to put people in comas or used as a hypnotic drug. Similar situation happened with me when I was eating with them a few times and they were asking me questions all of the time. I first thought that I had the flu or not well but they actually put barbiturate in the food as a form of mind control manipulation. After they found out that I was going to report them, they beat me up. I got a sprained neck after being around them. If you do a google search coptic orthodox barbiturates you’ll find an article about how the church founded the drug in the 1800s. This probably happened with McCullum’s. And yes, they are strict. Coptic or the muslim version of Christianity in my opinion.

    Coptics I met appeared to be very hospitable in the beginning and then it changes once they’ve gained your trust. The boy is telling the truth.


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