After growing up in a wealthy New York City suburb, Mira Riad, 32, could be leading a life of privileged leisure. Instead, the Egyptian-American attorney uses her good fortune to help the neediest Egyptians - orphans and street children.
米拉·丽雅德在纽约市郊一个富人区里长大。她本来可以过一个享有特权、悠闲自在的生活。但这位埃及裔美国律师更感兴趣的是使用她的财富帮助最有需要的埃及人,也就是100万孤儿和流浪街头的儿童。

"It’s something I had been thinking about for a while," Riad says about the orphanage project that she founded in 2007. "My mom used to take us to Egypt since we were little kids every summer and didn’t hide us from the poverty that was there."
丽雅德说:“我考虑这件事已经很久了。我们还是小孩子的时候,妈妈每年夏天都带我去埃及,她不向我们隐藏那里的穷困。”

The Littlest Lamb

There are an estimated one million orphans and street children in the country, about 50,000 in Cairo alone.

Slated to open next year on a 3.5-hectare site near Heliopolis, a prosperous Cairo suburb, The Littlest Lamb will offer about 200 orphans a home and education which could vault them into Egypt’s elite.
这个孤儿院明年开业,将为200名孤儿提供一个舒适健康的家,并帮助他们接受未来进入埃及上流社会的教育。

Riad's family owns Fortuny, a luxury-textile company, but she had little interest in the business, which is run by her two brothers. She first trained to become a social worker and later earned a law degree. She now works for her father’s legal-trusts firm in New York. But her passion is the orphanage, for which she recruited a governing board of six other young Egyptian-Americans. She says each child will be offered a university education.
丽雅德对两个兄弟经营的家族企业不感兴趣。她先是接受社会工作者的培训,又读了一个法律学位,然后进入父亲的律师事务所工作。但是,她热衷的是孤儿院。她还为此雇用了6名年轻的埃及裔美国人组成一个理事会。丽雅德透露,每个孩子都将被提供一个上大学的机会。

"That’s going to be a huge expense," she says. "Many people have told us that it’s not practical and not reasonable, but it’s something we absolutely believe is necessary, to give them the highest possible education. That way, they can compete for better jobs. And when they have better jobs, the stigma, hopefully, will be broken. Because if your doctor is an orphan, if your professor is an orphan, then you won’t have that stigma that orphans are nobody."
她说:“这将是一笔巨大的开支。很多人告诉我们这不现实,不理智。但是,我们绝对相信,让这些孩子接受最高程度教育是必要的。这样,他们可以竞争比较好的工作。我们希望,有了好的工作,就能够打破孤儿的羞耻感。如果你的医生是孤儿,你的教授也是孤儿,你就不会有孤儿无足轻重的羞耻感了。”

Family-style living

Designed by Egyptian architect Maher Andraws, The Littlest Lamb will have family-sized suites of several bedrooms, with each group of 10 or 12 children living with one "parental figure." College-age residents would live in other buildings nearby.
根据设计,小小羊羔孤儿院的房屋安排得象一个大家庭,有几间卧室,每10到12个孩子和一个“家长”生活在一起。进入大学年纪的孩子住在附近的楼里。

"They would still help out with the younger kids, as their siblings, but they would move maybe to apartments a little further from the orphanage, even on the same property, but a different building, so they could be more independent," she says. "And then after college, if they’d like to stay, if they couldn’t find a job, or whatever, if they couldn’t work, they could basically remain there as long as they want to be there."
丽雅德说:“他们仍然要帮助年纪小一点的孩子,就像帮助弟弟妹妹一样。但他们也许要搬到离孤儿院远一点的公寓里。那里属于同一房产,只是不同的建筑。他们可以有更多的自由。大学毕业后,他们如果愿意留下来,或者假如找不到工作,基本上可以一直呆在那里,想呆多长时间都可以。”

Riad, whose family is Coptic Christian, says the Littlest Lamb will be reserved for children from Egypt’s Christian minority only because mixed-religion orphanages are not permitted in Egypt. "It only can belong to one religion, because that’s just the rules of the game there," she says. "And Christians are the minority in Egypt and the opportunities for Christian orphanages there are less than for government-sponsored Muslim orphanages."
丽雅德说,“小小羊羔孤儿院”是专门为埃及占少数的基督教徒预备的。这样做仅仅是因为宗教混合的孤儿院在埃及是不允许的。她说:“孤儿院只能属于一个宗教,这是那里的规定。基督徒在埃及是少数,基督教孤儿院与政府资助的穆斯林孤儿院相比机会要少。”

Making a difference

Riad doesn’t want children of her own and found her social work internships draining. Now she laughs at the prospect that she might end up living much of the time at The Littlest Lamb, helping to raise hundreds of children. She says it’s the freedom to walk away that makes all the difference. Riad does not see herself as unusual.
丽雅德虽然自己不想要孩子,但是最终有可能把大部分时间花在孤儿院,帮助抚养数百名孩子的前景却让她高兴。她觉得自己没有什么不同寻常的。

"I don’t think I’m any different than anybody else," she says. "It’s just that different people use their skills, their opportunity in life, and every story gets painted in its own way. And mine just happened to get painted in this way."
丽雅德说:“我不认为我和别人有任何不同,只不过不同的人以不同的方式使用他们的技能和生活中的机会。每个人都在以自己的方式描绘一生,而我的故事正好是这样描绘的。”

Her connections are undeniably special, however. Pope Shenouda III, head of the Orthodox Coptic Christian Church, attended the ground-breaking in July 2009 to bless the orphanage. He placed a little toy lamb - the orphanage’s mascot - in the cornerstone.
她的关系毫无疑问非常特殊。正统科普特基督教会主教谢诺达2009年7月参加了孤儿院的破土动工仪式,为孤儿院祝福。

Also, retired soccer legend Pelé and former basketball great Walt Frazier have both appeared at Littlest Lamb fundraisers. Riad says they’ve reached the half-way point of their $5 million goal for completing the orphanage, and welcoming its first young residents.
退休巴西足球运动员贝利以及原美国篮球明星沃尔特.弗雷泽都参加过小小羊羔孤儿院的筹款活动。丽雅德说,他们已经达到了建成孤儿院和迎接第一批新生所需500万美元目标的一半。