Like every week, 13-year-old Youssef Sameh El-Araby spent last Thursday with his school friends in Cairo's 6 October City in El-Ashgar neighbourhood. Before heading back home, he asked his friends to stop at a restaurant to eat.
As they stood in front of a famous restaurant in Hossary Square, Youssef collapsed from what turned out to be a bullet wound to the head, and is now in a coma.
Youssef is in critical condition on life-support in the intensive care unit at October University Hospital.
Youssef's mother received a call Thursday night from her son's friends telling her that he had fainted and that they had taken him to hospital. At the hospital an hour later, it was discovered that Youssef had been shot in the head, family friend Maisa Youssef told Ahram Online.
"The bullet settled in the brain stem," Maisa said, adding that doctors say the bullet can therefore not be surgically removed.
According to Maisa, bystanders thought that Youssef had collapsed from lack of food, assuming the wound to his head was caused by his fall, as no one heard the actual gunshot. Maisa added that his friends heard a sound they thought was the popping of a soda can, which may have actually been the sound of the bullet striking his head.
Youssef's mother, political activist Marwa Kenawy, said on her facebook page on Saturday, "I am losing my son Youssef, I will not give up on God's mercy, and I will not leave you easily, Youssef," asking for prayers at churches and mosques and asking God for a miracle to save her young son.
The incident has sparked shock as well as shows of solidarity on social media, with many calling for a swift investigation.
According to Maisa, police have questioned Youssef's family and friends at the hospital, and investigations are underway.
The Interior ministry has not yet released an official statement on the incident.
Maisa, who says she considers Youssef her own son, says that "if he and his mother had a fight, he would come to me as his second mother."
She said she wishes to see him recover, resume his percussion lessons and attend the next match for Ahly football club, of which he is a fan.