A great story in Mada Masr about the mysterious, unaccountable funds to which Egyptians are being strongly encouraged to donate.
Driven by curiosity, rather than patriotic sentiment, I also decided to donate to the Tahya Masr fund. Rather than promise Sisi my vital organs, I settled on a humble LE100 and accepted that I would be outdone by an 8-year-old.
When I arrived at the National Bank of Egypt, one of four banks that accepts donations, I quietly stated that I was here to donate to the Tahya Masr fund. The security guard and the policeman sitting next to him greeted me with excitement and respect.
“That’s it?” the policeman asked cheekily as he handed me a number and asked me to wait my turn.
After my number was called, I walked up to the desk, bolstered by my two new friends at the door, and stated that I would like to donate to the Tahya Masr fund, to which a busy bank teller shook his head and asked for my ID.
First, however, as a contributor to the fund, I had a few questions: how much money has been collected so far, where will the money go, and how soon?
The bank teller responded impatiently with “I don’t know” to every question.
I then asked what the difference was between account number 306306 and 037037. He went into a discussion with his neighboring colleague, and finally came back with an answer: “306306 is called Support Egypt, while 037037 is called Long Live Egypt.”
Both accounts were active at the same time, and people can still donate to either one, I learned.
“Now, are you going to give me the money?” the teller asked, as I handed over my LE100 bill, not knowing where it would end up