Coronavirus pandemic turns renowned soccer player into a street vendor
In an effort to earn bread for his family amid coronavirus pandemic, Egypt’s renowned soccer player Mahrous Mahmoud is compelled to prepare sweets at a shop in a local market.
The professional soccer player, however, is working up a sweat in a different way these days – as a street vendor in Manfalut, a town 350 kilometers south of Cairo in the province of Assiut, Egypt.
He makes the small pancakes, called qatayef in Arabic, are among the most favorite Ramadan desserts. The spread of COVID-19 pandemic around the world has brought the global sport to standstill, leaving hundreds of athletes jobless.
These days, he heads to work in a crowded market in an Upper Egypt town. Shoulder-to-shoulder, shoppers jostle around stalls as he prepares a pancake-like pastry. Prior to the pandemic, Mahmoud made about $200 a month playing for his club. That went a long way toward feeding his family of three but he also did part-time jobs to supplement it, Gulf News reported
Responding to question, the soccer player said, “I should do any kind of work to help feed them.”
At this time of the year, Mahmoud would be on the field playing as a defender for Beni Suef, a club in Egypt’s second division. But like millions in the Arab world’s most populous country, he has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.
The league was shut down mid-March and Mahmoud’s main source of income dried up. Egypt has implemented a strict curfew and closed cafes, malls and other shops as part of a government effort to stem the spread of the virus. His club told players to stay at home until they could return to playing