Exchange Student Starved While in Egypt

Feb 27, 2008 | Posted by: roboblogger | Full story: Reading Eagle/Reading Times

“He was outgoing, a straight-A student, very athletic. Now, he's less spontaneous and more subdued”

AP Photo: McCullum family This January 2008 photo provided by the McCullum family shows Jonathan McCullum, of Hallowell, Maine, during his 13-day stay at Barbara Bush Children's Hospital at Maine Medical Center ... via Reading Eagle/Reading Times

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21 - 36 of 36 Comments Last updated Dec 20, 2013
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Zarzora Expedition

Alexandria, Egypt

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#21
Apr 21, 2008
 
The elusive lost oasis. Zarzora is coin phrased to describe anything yet to be discovered in a far away place. Some might say there's little to be discovered. That's not the case with Zarzora. We design our exploring expeditions aiming for that Wish-Oasis, a symbol of a mystery yet to be discovered. The name is the destination.
contact with us in ask@zarzora.com
or chek the site www.zarzora.com
adam glasgow

United States

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#22
Apr 22, 2008
 
hey, i just got back to america from a four month stay in egypt. i dont know how this guy lost all that weight. something doesn't make sense. i can say this for the egyptian people. they are kind and they fed me when i had nothing. when i had no money, they gave to me. when i needed anything, they'd help me. this is why i'm coming back as soon as i can and i wanna live there for a long time. i love egypt. i love giza so much. i miss the tea. i like egyptian tea. not bedouin tea. "ana masri!!!!!!!!!!"
dude in alex

Egypt

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#23
Apr 23, 2008
 
im, sure is not money.parents would have sent some sometime.. but rather the unthinkable.. the boy is on DRUGS, definatly from the wieght loss i can say its pills(morphene),egypt provides a high variaty of pills n hash for reasonably low prices, or whatever money a person has in pocket.
RamesesII

AOL

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#24
Apr 24, 2008
 
Umberto wrote:
Now I have read two "inside" stories. The other one was that he had a credit card for money but mailed it to his girl friend so that she could come visit him.
LOL there is always a woman behind the problems of men heheh..just kidding ladies. Umberto: I would take all these "inside stories" with a grain of salt--Egyptians alays come up with far-fetched rumors and love to make up conspiracy theories. This may be true about this guy, but it may not.

Since: Mar 08

bradley, me

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#25
Apr 25, 2008
 
This stinks, a college age person can't tell when he is starving, so he comes home and blames it on Egypt. Great for international relations. I am thinking eating disorder. Fess up bro and tell the parents, maybe they can get you some help.
RamesesII

AOL

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#26
Apr 26, 2008
 
adam glasgow wrote:
hey, i just got back to america from a four month stay in egypt. i dont know how this guy lost all that weight. something doesn't make sense. i can say this for the egyptian people. they are kind and they fed me when i had nothing. when i had no money, they gave to me. when i needed anything, they'd help me. this is why i'm coming back as soon as i can and i wanna live there for a long time. i love egypt. i love giza so much. i miss the tea. i like egyptian tea. not bedouin tea. "ana masri!!!!!!!!!!"
You are right Adam--the tea just tastes better in Egypt...as does the bread, the cheese, the chicken (Fayoumi), the butter...I always eat too much whenever I go to visit.
A RAB

Richmond, KY

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#27
Apr 28, 2008
 
Egyptiandoll wrote:
My husband is a Copt, he fasts, and he has not lost any weight. Maybe we should both go live with this particular family and lose some of our weight. The Copts do not fast for 3 continuous months. When they do fast, they don't eat any animal products. They can eat fish, vegetables, fruit, etc. In fact, this is quite a healthy diet compared to the food I eat. There must have been another reason for his loss of weight, because it sure wasn't from the food he received at his Coptic host family.
Hey there Doll
deborah frazier

Alexandria, Egypt

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#28
Sep 6, 2008
 
OMG... i need his secrets... i have been in egypt for the greater part of 5 years and have gained close to 50 pounds... my neighbors bombard me with food... the little corner market sends a boy everytime they get something new they think i will like... i hate white rice... hate their molekia... but a meat pie cost 2 egyptian pounds and is a meal unto itself... the cost... 34 usa cents... i never go o mcdonalds and the junk food chains... a jar of peanut butter although not as creamy as back in usa is far cheaper... less than 2 usa dollars... a packet of jelly is 25 piestas... that is about 4 american cents... was he starved... i seriously doubt that... he just probably thought he was too high and mighty to eat the local foods or to eat a peanut butter sandwich... he was more than likely trying to impress the young egyptian girls who like men tall and thin so he was extreme dieting to fit their mold... and if he was going to class daily then classmates are always stuffing junk into their mouths and always sharing with one another... i agree with his story sounding more than just fishy... the boy is an outright liar...
nile_princess

Egypt

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#29
Sep 7, 2008
 
Im an american in egypt for over 2 years and i didnt loose any weight unless i wanted to lol. and there is so much too eat here in egypt lol. they have all kinds of resturants and the egyptian food is so cheap. ok there isnt alot of meat in household cooking but so what. he SHOULD have eaten outside his home if he saw himself getting too bony. btw i noticed that most egyptians are too skinny anyway in my opinion.. especially the guys. so maybe they didnt notice it on him. maybe the ppl couldnt afford to feed him. his parent should have sent him money or gave him a bank debit card before he left. i would have. just in case he needed it and to have some fun too.the parents should have made sure he was all set. im an american and i lived in maine for 10 years.. the ppl are pretty tough there i dont see the kid being all timid to ask for more food or to get to the city to get food.

Since: Mar 08

Egypt

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#30
Sep 8, 2008
 
The story doesn't make sense to be sure. He could have eaten outside of the home, but he did not. It is not unusual as a Westerner to lose weight going to Egypt to stay for a while as there is much more walking and more fruits/veggies are incorporated into the diet. I have lost 20 pounds myself the few years I have been here, and it has done me good.

I'm not saying to blame the kid, he is just a child, but perhaps he had a sickness that went undiagnosed, perhaps he was depressed, there could be a number of things. Egyptians, generally, are so big on hospitality you cannot imagine the amount of food they try to shove down your throat. I can't help but feel he desperately was homesick and wanted to leave. I hope he is ok now though
OM NOM NOM NOM

Zagazig, Egypt

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#31
Sep 8, 2008
 
and the darwin award goes to..

“Egypt is special”

Since: Sep 08

Egypt

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#32
Sep 8, 2008
 
waterproof eyeliner wrote:
The story doesn't make sense to be sure. He could have eaten outside of the home, but he did not. It is not unusual as a Westerner to lose weight going to Egypt to stay for a while as there is much more walking and more fruits/veggies are incorporated into the diet. I have lost 20 pounds myself the few years I have been here, and it has done me good.
I'm not saying to blame the kid, he is just a child, but perhaps he had a sickness that went undiagnosed, perhaps he was depressed, there could be a number of things. Egyptians, generally, are so big on hospitality you cannot imagine the amount of food they try to shove down your throat. I can't help but feel he desperately was homesick and wanted to leave. I hope he is ok now though
are you an american? I am and i need some friends in cairo. if your into it let me know, ive been here for a few years as well.:-)

Since: Mar 08

Egypt

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#33
Sep 9, 2008
 
nile_princess wrote:
<quoted text>
are you an american? I am and i need some friends in cairo. if your into it let me know, ive been here for a few years as well.:-)
I am sorry I am not in Cairo. Try here:
http://www.egyptsearch.com/
anon

Martin, TN

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#34
Sep 28, 2008
 
Is it possible that the change of food and water and environment made him sick and loose weight? And I agree that this is kind of fishy. Why didn';t he tell his family? I am sure something could have been done.
chris

Methuen, MA

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#35
Sep 28, 2008
 
Perhaps the change in drinking water made him ill.
It's known to happen to some people. Time will tell what really happened. I noticed there is not much sympathy expressed for this boy.
Kiana

Wyandotte, MI

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#37
Dec 20, 2013
 
Give me a break wrote:
Why would you blame the child???????
It is the host parents that acted irresponsibly and should be arrested for abuse of a child!
Exactly! and are people ignoring the fact that he said that the reason he wasn't eating was because his family was being stingy with the food? He clearly stated that they were hiding and confiscating food from him and that it was hard for him to communicate because of the language barrier. He even said he didn't think it was a culture clash, he just thought this particular family was stingy and insane.

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