Saturday, 13 January 2007

About Doctors & Iraq

Leaving my country to live and study in the U.K was a dream or a decision which I’ve taken since I was in Secondary school. When I started University, my dream grew stronger, I had never considered this matter as an option; it was always the fate which I was waiting for.

I used to mention this hope everyday, it was my favorite subject, the opinions of my friends about this idea were quite variable, some of them had the same hope and they encouraged me, others showed no interest. However, two of them rejected that matter completely
Saif and Laith, two Doctors who differ in many things but, I used to hear the same comment from both of them “I’ve never thought about it, I’ll never do it” “I agree that it’s not going well here, however I’ll live like my family and friends, nothing can force me to live away from my country”. It’s not a matter of being patriotic, they just refused the idea.
The last year was our final year in the University, there was a very high competition between the students to get the highest scores; this didn’t concern me as i was leaving

The circumstances in Baghdad started getting worse and the doctors faced many problems, some of them were killed. Laith had to live a terrible period as his family was threatened by the sectarians, and he had to leave his house to stay away for a while, he suffered a lot at that time , eventually he changed his mind, he decided to work in Kurdistan just to stay away from the mess.

As soon as I finished my studies, I left Baghdad, at the same time Laith was in Kurdistan with other guys to apply for a job there, he got it and he will start working in Zakho soon, he was quite pleased with that.

When he went back to Baghdad, there was an argument between Saif and all the others who applied to work in Kurdistan, “you’re going to lose your opportunity in getting the higher education, we can work in the city of medicine, we’ll get the best training” these were Saif's words to the others.
Saifs opinion is correct to an extent, we used to see hard competition every year between all the newly graduated doctors for finding a job in Baghdad, any doctor whose overall score is less than 65% had to look for another city, the favorite place for training is the city of medicine, which is group of large number of hospitals for different specialties and centers for subspecialties.

As one of the doctors who had got the highest scores in the university, Saif had also the opportunity to go further in his education and to be gain an academic profession in a short period, which used to be the dream of most Iraqi specialists.

The 10th of December 2006 was the date, when every doctor in Iraq had to apply for a job, all the newly graduated doctors had to go to the ministry of health to apply there, it’s a meeting held every year, which we call the Central distribution.

A few days later, I phoned Saif , his words were completely unexpected “ I didn’t apply, like most our friends I’m not going to work here, I’m in a quandary between going to Kurdistan or leaving the country”. When I hear such words from Saif, I can imagine what level we reached.
This is the first time when other cities attract doctors more than Baghdad; doctors with low scores were accepted in Baghdad. Many doctors didn’t apply at all, those who applied for work in Baghdad, are not sure if they’ll do it, however, they didn’t have another option. Large number of doctors is leaving the country and not so far Iraq and especially Baghdad is going to face shrinkage in the number of available doctors. This problem will get worse as the universities in Baghdad are facing terrible times, they can’t give proper clinical sessions and the staff is threatened. It’s expected that they will be closed.

The ministry of Health is controlled by The Turbans who are followers of AL-Sader, apart from the corruption which has deprived people from everything they might need, sectarian mentality is superior, and doctors are threatened or even killed.

The lack of doctors is a terrible thing which we can’t tolerate, people in Iraq used to adapt, however, how can they adapt such thing?

I imagine the large number of children in summer, who are suffering the dehydration, they scream loudly, they look skinny and their faces are miserable, they need special care and follow up, will they recieve it? I’m also thinking about the injured in every explosion, they’re confused, terrified, who is going to look after them, I see the patients suffering the pain, bending their bodies to control it, who will comfort them?

I’m not worried about Saif and Laith, I’m sure they’ll be fine; however, they represent all the young Iraqis, they have become helpless, pessimistic, depressed and lost. I’ll never ask anybody to stay there; I was the first who left. I’d like to ask them to be optimistic, but, I wasn’t when I was there. I’d like to be helpful, however, I’m not.

Everybody says that the problem has just begun; however, what worse could happen?


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Marshmallow26 said...

Hello a&eiraqi,

I really don't know what to say but you've done the right thought wisely and itnaga3it gabl el mi6ar knowing that Iraq will turn to such a misrable situation...

Which Doctor agrees to stay in Iraq, and get killed while he is checking up his patient??? We lost many wealthy doctors and Iraq is not ready to lose the rest...

God bless you and be with Doctors over here.

Little Penguin said...

It's the ever-present tragedy of Iraq; It looks like Iraq can never benefit from its human and natural resources. Our wealth is always under attack from parasites and our greatest people are either killed or displaced.

A&E, you and your fellow Iraqi doctors are true heroes. I have more respect and admiration for you than for all the Iraqi government, especially the turbaned tossers at the Minstry of Health - they belong with the enemy; you are our guardians.

Inshallah the outcome of your stay in London will benefit Iraqis who so desperately need you.

Once again, you are a hero.


karim said...

what worse could happen?

عندما خرجت من العراق في منتصف التسعينات كنت اقول نفس جملتك او شيء من هذا القبيل...اتمنى من كل قلبي انه في عام 2014 لايقول عراقي اخر يترك العراق نفس الجملة

كل هذا التراكم الرائع ...تراكم سبعين سنة من الجهد والعلم العراقي ...تأكله الجرذان العماماتية ...اي مرارة

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Nadia said...

Hello there A&Eiraqi,

The reality we have in Iraq is heartbreaking indeed. I share your fears about what is happening now when doctors are leaving Iraq, its getting worse for people. Damn I am so angry at all of this. Bush only cares about saving face and Maliki wants more weapons why are we not able to put these two in a Guantanamo cell.

I am glad you stopped by at my blog and left a message, by that you gave me an opportunity to find your blog! Thank YOU. : )

fedIraqi said...

I'm sure we all miss Iraq too, otherwise why do we look for Iraqui bloggers. Good Iraqis from all professions and faith with the financial ability to leave the country have left or are considering it now. For the rest of Iraqis inside please, take care. Iraq one day will need all the good people to rebuild. Unfortunately the ones that came with the invation were northamerican or forgin domesticated to see the US dollar and nothing else. We will be back to live and build our country.

A&Eiraqi said...


Dear 3raqimedic; thanks alot for asking about the exam, well I did my best, it was hard , I'll recieve the results within a month.

Dear marsh; you're absolutely right , doctors are doing their best to leave , they're really worried about their lives, after writing this blog, I've heard about two doctors, both of them are fully qualiefid surgeons, the first one who is a freind of mine , was kidnapped , tortured and released after paying a huge sum of money, moreover he and his family were forced to leave their house without taking anything , this one was so lucky because the other one used to be the assistant manager of AL-Yarmook hospital, his name is Dr. Anmar, he was waiting for his wife infront of her lab. in AL-Iskan when somebody killed him, I don't care about sectors but , the first and the second one are from different sectors.
No body can suffer such life .

Dear little penguine
thanks alot for your kind words , all the Iraqis are herros , I don't think that I could do something better than what was done by Iraqi women who suffered all these wars , all the simple workers are doing their best to survive, I wish I could benefit from staying in London
thanks again

Dear Nadia ; I'm so glad to see your coment in my blog , I read your article about the execution it was the best one at that time , I liked it so much
thanks alot

Dear fediraq, your words are true and painful , the good thing is you've mentioned the hope of seeing Iraq getting better , I hope so , at that time we should do our best to rebuild it.

Dear Karim
honestley , this sentence was the topic of the article , I changed it in the last moment just not to sound pesimisstic, anyway ;we have been asking this question for a long time , and always there is a wors to happen , let's hope it 'll be better soon

Thanks everybody