Mohamed Salah Will Now Be Taught In Egyptian Textbooks

The exemplary Liverpool winger is more than just a footballer in his home country.

Mohamed Salah, the greatest African goal scorer in the history of the Premier League, is now a part of the curriculum for primary and secondary school children in Egypt. 

Dubbed the Pharaoh or the Egyptian King by fans, Salah overtook Didier Drogba of the Ivory Coast with a hat trick against Manchester United over the weekend, putting him on 107 Premier League goals, most all time by an African. Salah’s coach, Jürgen Klopp, says he’s the best player in the world right now, and it’s hard to argue given his recent performances. 

As a key member of Liverpool’s Champions League title in 2019 and Premier League title a year later, Salah is beloved in England and Egypt. At 29, he’s already scored 45 goals for his country in 73 appearances, helping the Pharaohs qualify for the 2018 World Cup. 

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Perhaps even more important than his footballing accomplishments, Salah has spent much of his time off the pitch supporting charities, especially in his impoverished hometown of Nagrig. Once when Salah’s family was robbed, the footballer declined to press charges and instead helped the thief financially, a show of his incredible generosity. Salah is also one of the most high-profile Muslim footballers.

With that in mind, Egyptian schoolchildren will now learn of the example Salah has set to his compatriots. The Times reported this week that Salah’s story will be included in English-language textbooks for primary and secondary schools in Egypt. 

“Salah’s desire to help others is because he wants to give young people a chance to succeed,” the secondary textbook reads. “He is a role model to millions of Egyptians who give him the nickname ‘the happiness maker.’”

Is a footballer worth spending time in school to teach? That’s debatable. But Salah is more than a footballer in Egypt, and his example is one to follow. 

Meanwhile in the U.S., there is a constant battle over what to put in textbooks as a certain right-wing propaganda media outlet has created unfounded outcry over decades-old topics like critical race theory, slavery and human rights. So fucked up is the education system in the U.S. that one Texas school official recently told teachers they needed to offer “opposing” viewpoints of the Holocaust, as if genocide has two sides to the story. 

So maybe teaching kids about a role model like Salah isn’t so bad. Maybe one day American textbooks will include lessons on Megan Rapinoe, Tony Sanneh and Michell Akers instead of trying to ignore the role of slavery in the Civil War. 

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