We all know how much “sweat and tears” are exerted during the last year of school to achieve the highest score possible. Whether you’re an American Diploma student, IGCSE, IB, Baccalaureat, or any of those other sophisticated degrees that we learn about every year, that last mile in our pre-college stage is torture, to say the least. Even though each of the formerly mentioned diplomas has its pros and cons, we can agree that Thanaweya Amma is probably the most challenging of them all. For instance, half a per cent can sometimes prevent you from pursuing the major or university of your dreams after years of hard work.
Now, imagine having to go through all that pressure, plus endure a condition that, among other things, impairs your social interaction and communication skills. You may know it as autism or, more recently, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), due to its range of symptoms. Well, Marwan Wahid Abdallah Awwad, a student at Salah El-Din Secondary School for Boys, set the bar pretty high and broke all barriers, when he scored the highest Thanaweya Amma grades in the science/mathematics section. What an accomplishment!
Dubbed as “Einstein Al Sharqia” by Masrawy, Marwan hails from the village of Mashtul as Suq. Last weekend, various Arabic news sources announced that he had ranked first place in all of Egypt with 98.9 per cent as his total Thanaweya Amma score. Roughly translated from Arabic, the genius’s retired father, Wahid Abdallah Awwad, said, “I expected Marwan to be in the highest percentile, but I was surprised when the minister called to say that Marwan had ranked first place.”
He also shared details of his struggles with Marwan throughout his therapy process since he was two years old. The supportive father stated, “I stood by him and I told myself that I would stay with him until the last day of my life. We went through so many different crises, but today we reaped what we sowed and God compensated everything.”
The most inspirational segment of his story came when Wahid talked about a doctor who believed that his son wouldn’t amount to anything. But this discouraging prediction didn’t break the father down; on the contrary, it tempted him to prove her wrong. Due to his genuine belief in his son and persistence, God led him to another doctor, with a completely opposite and more positive mindset, who was certain that Marwan would one day grow up to be like the great Einstein.
As for our young prodigy, who aspires to become a successful engineer one day, he thanked God for his unanticipated achievements, as well as his supportive teachers and caring social workers. He also mentioned his older brother, a Commerce graduate, who he looks up to and considers a role model.