What would you do when you expect to get through a top medical school because of your consistent good score, but see a big zero on your report card instead? That's what happened to Mariam Malak from Egypt.Mariam is the topper of her school and consistently received the highest grades, making her one of Egypt's top performing school students. Naturally, her expectations were high when it came to her final results.
When she did not see her name among the toppers, she was disheartened but still believed that she had written enough to get through the school of her choice, but as she went lower down the grade list, she discovered she had received a score of zero - and fainted!
“I was completely shocked, I couldn’t hear anyone, I couldn’t speak. I thought how can that happen? How can I get zero?” Mariam told the BBC .
Mariam and her family believe that her scores have been tampered with and she's possibly the victim of bribery and corruption. The topper did not just fail in one subject but got a zero in all seven subjects. To receive a zero, she would have to leave her papers completely blank.
Initially, it was suspected that Mariam was failed on purpose, for being a part of Egypt’s Coptic Christian community, but these claims were later dismissed.
Though Mariam was made to take five different handwriting tests, once she took the test on live television her handwriting was nowhere close to the one in the papers.
The injustice Mariam is facing has sparked off a protest on Facebook. The page named "Tears for Mariam" is collecting messages of support from all over the world.
Our page has a definite and obvious mission which is clear from its title " tears of Mariam". This mission to exchange...Posted by دموع مريم on Sunday, September 6, 2015
The protest is being popularised under #IbelieveinMariam with angry tweets and artwork.
#انا_مصدق_مريم_ملاك you don't deserve to stay in this cruel illiterate country I swear— saraelsanhoury (@ElsanhourySara) August 31, 2015
The helpless student has sought help from the PM of Egypt, who intends to look into her case. "We believe in God's justice and the law and watching the support and solidarity we've been receiving from people gives us a bit of reassurance, we want an impartial and transparent committee to re-open the investigation and redo her handwriting test... we will continue until we do justice by Mariam." said Meena Malak, Mariums mother.
Several prominent Egyptians have offered help for Mariam's further education. The injustice done to Mariam is unacceptable, the girl definitely deserves better.