3mi and 3mti (the translation of uncle and aunt) are the terms used by Iraqi doctors to address their senior collages.
It was the A&E unit where I first met Ammar (or 3ammar); I was a first year medical student at that time and he was the chief registrar in the hospital; and he was quite strong person who everyone used to be careful while dealing with him.
I was examining one of the patients when he noticed that I was performing the wrong test; he immediately pulled me away and kept shouting “What on earth made you do so? Where are the doctors here who let you with the patients on your own”.
I was shocked and scared; I was just 19 year old and I was the most junior one; I kept quiet while he went on shouting and shouting, I sat away like a scared little child who had done something wrong!!
I realized that I was in a big trouble as he would never forgive such thing and he can kick me outside the hospital.
He kept putting an eye on me whenever he came to the A&E unit; I used to get worried whenever I see him.
Ammar & his team used to be on call every Saturday; and I had to call them whenever there was a critical or emergency condition; I remember how he looked at me when I woke him up once saying angrily “ For God’s sake, can’t you realize that I’m a senior registrar; there are my junior collages who you should consult first”.
I was quite sure that he would never let it go anymore; I was quite sure that he hates me so much.
Strangely; I was mistaken, he became vey nice to me, he added me to the surgical team and kept teaching me from the early beginning, we gradually became friends; or probably he adopted me.
Years went while I was his assistant.
I was the only junior student allowed to enter the elective operative theatre; I was allowed to participate in some of the work and introduced to all the consultants.
Being a member in the first surgical unit team was something great; we used to walk together like an army; it was just a nice feeling of being a doctor.
We became fiends; and always in touch; I grew up and he finished his studies and became a consultant; yet, nothing changed between us, he was always (3mi); and I was always Ammar’s son.
The last thing he did before he left the hospital was taking me to everyone he knew there saying to them “ Look; this is my friend and brother; when he needs something that means I need it; and you’ll be doing it for me”.
The only thing which used to disappoint him was my ideas to leave; he wanted me to stay and let him supervise my training till I become a good surgeon.
Unluckily; I couldn’t hug him good bye before I left Iraq, I couldn’t thank him for the last time; I couldn’t wish him a good life, and of course I wasn’t able to pay him back, as he was working in a district town far away from Baghdad; I was quite sure that there won’t be such person in my life; the one who gives just for giving; the one who teaches just to teach; just to see me better.
In fact; I believed that I was too old to be adopted.
Ammar is the only one who never misunderstood my words; the only one who never had suspicions about my behaviour and the only one who never ever thought that I wanted his friendship for a benefit; the thing which many people can’t believe.
I kept asking about him but nobody knows anything; all what we know that he works in that district town where we’re unable to contact him or to hear from him.
I just need to see how he is; has he got any children? How is he doing in his new life? Is he still alive?
I just need to see him, to hug him once more, to tell him how much I miss him, to tell him that I’m not going to be a surgeon, I’m going to stay in the A&E; in the place where we first met.
I need to tell him that I hate this life which made us live away from each other and deprive me from such a great friend.
While being away; while feeling lonely depressed and misunderstood, when nobody cares, when life is not going well; I saw a glimpse of Ammar’s personality; a hand stretched to help me; I felt that he is around; his warmth, his kindness, his funny behaviour sometimes.
I see Ammar’s face in everyone’s face when they try to give me something, when they try to look after me for no reason; I saw him when someone shouted to me for my own benefit.
I feel like he follows me like an angel, he is around wherever I go, his hand is stretched to catch my hand and he is smiling the same smile I used to see on his face.
I see him now in someone else; and I’m scared of losing him again.