Mr. John Mofeed Youssef from Miami/Alexandria tells: “At one point, my family and I purchased a piece of land in the area of Wabor El Miya in Alexandria, and after obtaining the necessary building permits, we decided to build on the land. However, the tenants of the neighbouring building to our piece of land objected, because their building was leaning about half a meter over our land, and this was clearly visible from the twelfth floor of the building. The tenants began to threaten us and they told us that our piece of land was worth nothing.
When we asked them to clarify, they informed us that the previous owners of the land (that we now owned), had also attempted to build on it. When they dug deep enough to establish a foundation (8 meters deep), the neighbouring building began to lean over the pit; hence, the mayor of the town ordered that the building process must come to a halt, and the pit was refilled back with dirt. Everything was stopped in order to prevent the neighbouring building from collapsing.
We tried everything to convince them that we would not be following through with the same method of building as the previous land owners – we would be using less invasive and more effective means of building through one of the most reputable architectural companies in Alexandria, and in the end they obliged. They agreed to allow us to build under the supervision of Dr. Hasan Abd Raboh (a consultant professor of foundations at the University of Alexandria), along with a whole other team of engineers and architects – in order to ensure that no further harm would come upon their building. When the digging process began, the neighbouring building began to lean further over our piece of land!
The tenants were filled with fury and they forced us to stop the digging process immediately, and Dr. Hasan concluded that we cannot continue to build. All the bulldozers and the construction workers were asked to evacuate the land immediately. In seeing this, we contacted an independent construction company so that they could add a support system to the building and to stabilize it in hopes that it would remedy the situation. However, the company refused because they did not want to take any responsibilities for the collapse of the building.
As a result of this never-ending ordeal, our family was overcome by disappointment, especially because we paid millions of pounds in order to purchase this piece of land. After the construction workers removed all the equipment, we noticed that the building was leaning over our piece of land significantly and it began to sink deeper into the ground. We had no other option but to resort to God alone. Therefore, I decided to go to the Sourian Monastery and there I met with Fr. Faltaous.
I was extremely saddened to the point where I cried fervently in front of him, and when he calmed me down, I explained everything to him with regards to the building and how it was leaning towards our piece of land. After hearing what I had to say, Fr. Faltaous said to me, ‘Don’t worry, son, you will be able to build and everything will be fine, and please reassure your family members.’ Fr. Faltaous then prayed a long while over a bottle of water, and he gave it to me. He asked me to sprinkle some of water around the leaning neighbouring building, as well as our piece of land.
Indeed, when I returned back from the monastery I sprinkled the holy water around the leaning building and then I sprinkled some water onto our piece of land. During this process, the building was being assessed and inspected in order to determine why it was leaning this way. However, after I sprinkled the holy water, my family and I kept asking the senior engineer – Dr. Sayid El Naghy (who was responsible for measuring the progress of the leaning building), that he would give us the progress report thus far. Despite the fact that we kept asking him for a whole week, he did not respond. This really puzzled us, especially since he used to update us on a daily basis, prior to the day when I sprinkled the holy water.
After much insisting, he said to us, ‘Something happened, God intervened with you and with this piece of land…’ He kept repeating this phrase multiple times, and then he said to us, ‘If I record exactly what is happening right now with regards to this building, everyone will think that I am crazy.’ When we asked him what happened, he said, ‘The building is slowly shifting from its leaning position, and this is the first time in my life ever to witness such a thing, to the point where I cannot record it – it just doesn’t make any sense!’
I on the other hand said to him, ‘Sir, you need to record the truth so that we can move on and we can begin to build on our piece of land.’ He then responded, ‘All that I am able to write is that the building is now fully stable, but I cannot write that the building is shifting into its proper position!’ We in turn insisted that he should record what he saw.
After completing his report, we received our permit and the construction workers returned back to the site along with their equipment. They continued to dig once again until the foundation was set, and although the bulldozers were bumping into the building, it was not affected in any way! Moving forward, we built an apartment building that was 12 stories high. I recall that when the building process began, I went to my beloved Fr. Faltaous and I thanked him for all his prayers on our behalf. I informed him that we had begun to build and that the building that was once leaning, was shifting back to its correct position!
Fr. Faltaous smiled and he looked at the monks who surrounded him and he said, ‘It really was not a big deal, son, I just stood there and I asked St. Mina and St. George to lift the building up with me. They did so with their own hands, it really wasn’t a big deal.’ After completing his words, Fr. Faltaous congratulated me. And until this day, our building is present on Galal El Dosokee Street in Alexandria, and it is proof of God’s work with us through the prayers of Fr. Faltaous.”
Ref: The star of the sheheet desert – Fr Faltaous El Souriany, p. 127-9 (pdf index)