When Mohamed Hilal, a doctor in Ismailia city, watched a video of violinist Eslam al-Sayad performing in the streets just before curfew, an idea came to him.
Working at the Ismailia Fever Hospital, Hilal was in charge of detecting coronavirus cases that would then go to the Abu-Khalifa isolation hospital for treatment.
His idea was to bring Sayad to perform at the Abu-Khalifa hospital.
“Thank God, who guided me to this idea and coincidentally brought me to Sayad,” he said.
After contacting the musician, Hilal said he agreed to go perform at the hospital in hopes of lifting the spirits of patients and staff alike there. The gesture grew viral across Egyptians on social media, with many touched by Sayad’s performances bringing joy to a place of illness.
“Sayad responded to my call immediately, without hesitation. I was relieved by the smiles on all the beautiful faces of the doctors, nurses, workers and patients in the hospital,” Hilal said.
“To my colleagues at the isolation hospital: you are heroes in the full sense of the word, and history will remember this matter and tell stories about it. You have my full appreciation and respect,” he concluded.
Sayad, who works as a musician at the Youth Ministry orchestra, said he was surprised when Hilal contacted him with the offer but was all for it.
“I didn’t hesitate, and immediately decided to go with him. There, in front of the door, I started playing various pieces of music. I was surprised by the doctors, nurses, workers, policemen and some patients waving their hands to me from the windows, and they responded to playing until I finished,” Sayad said.
He added that this initiative widely resonated with people and succeeded in lifting the stress they felt in facing this virus.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm