A rich experience not without suffering.. Doctors from Gaza working in Jerusalem | Jerusalem

A Gaza doctor cannot bring his wife from the Gaza Strip to live with him in Jerusalem, and there is no guarantee that he will not fail to obtain his entry permits to Jerusalem as a doctor living in the city not, and he is forced to deal with an unknown professional future and abnormal conditions that doctors do not live in other countries of the world, due to the reality of the profession.

Occupied Jerusalem In the operating department of Al-Makassed Hospital in Jerusalem, the anesthetist, Dr. Thaer Abu Amer, busy with the first task of the operations, and he leaves the place only for a few hours every week.

Abu Amer arrived in Jerusalem in 2016 months after completing his teaching career in general medicine at Al-Azhar University in Gaza. He underwent an exam and then an interview, after which he was accepted to specialize in the field of anesthesia according to purposes, which is the first teaching hospital in Palestine.

Al Jazeera Net has dr. Thaer Abu Amer and his companion, who also came from Gaza, Khaled al-Shawa, accompanied on a working day for them in the hospital, and were informed about their educational and professional journey fraught with difficulty from the besieged Gaza Strip to Jerusalem .

The anesthetist, Gazan doctor Thaer Abu Amer, in the operating room during the anesthesia of a child in preparation for open heart surgery (Al-Jazeera)

A rich experience in a forced dimension

Thaer Abu Amer was born in 1990 to an Egyptian mother and a Palestinian refugee father from the 1948 village of Yabna, attached to the Ramle district.

As soon as he arrived, Abu Amer was surprised by the complex medical cases, classified as dangerous and very dangerous, arriving from all the Palestinian governorates at Al-Makassed Hospital, as it is the largest Palestinian referral hospital.

He said that he was learning and continuing on a daily basis because the hospital performs various types of surgery, so he could practice all types of anesthesia required for any surgery and for all age groups.

He adds that “the path of specialization lasted for 5 years, and at the end of it the administration of Al-Makassed Hospital made a decision to hire me as a resident anesthetist… The beginning of the path was not decorated with roses. in light of the forced distance from my family, my wife and my child Majid, who passed months without seeing him, but I know that my service For these patients it is the highest thing that I can offer, and this is what comforts me in my exile.”

4- Doctor Thaer Abu Amer with doctors and nurses at Al-Makassed Hospital, who say they are his second family (Al-Jazeera Net)
Thaer Abu Amer (centre) with doctors and nurses at Al-Makassed Hospital, who says they are his second family (Al-Jazeera)

Abu Amer travels between Jerusalem and Gaza under a “training course” permit, which renews the occupation every 3 months, but in light of the changing security situation in Palestine in general and Gaza in particular, his absence from his family in the besieged sector. long lasting.

Israel does not allow residents of the Gaza Strip to enter other Palestinian territories, whether Jerusalem, the West Bank or the territories occupied in 1948, except in very limited cases. Residents of these areas are also prevented from entering the Gaza Strip except with few and rare permits.

Doctor Abu Amer says, “When war breaks out in Gaza or the Beit Hanoun (Erez) checkpoint is closed for any reason, the hope of reaching the families in the strip is cut off… and the same was the case with the arrival of the Corona pandemic and the associated closures that lasted for months… I feel deeply alienated from My surroundings and my family, and the family atmosphere among the hospital staff partially compensates for that.”

Every doctor’s dream

The young Gazan claims that any Palestinian doctor cannot miss the opportunity to specialize and work in Al-Makassed Hospital in Jerusalem; Because of the important practical experience that makes him an expert doctor who can handle difficult cases anytime and anywhere.

A few months ago, Abu Amer had the opportunity to work in an Israeli hospital, but he withdrew from signing the contract despite being interviewed and accepted, “because the opportunity to work in Al-Makassed Hospital in Jerusalem work is not compensated,” according to him, despite the suffocating financial obligations to him and his family in Gaza.

This doctor cannot bring his wife – who also works as a doctor in Gaza – with him in Jerusalem to live in Jerusalem, and he cannot guarantee that the process of obtaining his entry permits to Jerusalem will fail as a doctor working in the city does not live, and therefore he is forced to deal with an unknown career future and abnormal conditions in which he does not live. Doctors in other countries of the world.

In the few minutes that Thaer rests between one operation and the other, he uses the opportunity to ask about his child (Majid) and check on his arrival home from school. During our conversation with him, his voice only vibrated with pain when he talked about his only child and being away from him.

Gaza doctor Khaled Al-Shawa during his work at Al-Makassed Hospital in Jerusalem (Al-Jazeera)

Between Jerusalem and Gaza

In the corridors of the hospital, Thaer meets daily his friend, doctor Khaled Al-Shawa, who also comes from Gaza City and is about to complete his career in general surgery.

Shawwa was born in 1992 and met Abu Amer at Al-Azhar University, and they did not know then that their companions would be outside Gaza and far from their families.

Al-Shawa says the hardest thing he goes through is the holidays and social events he cannot attend in Gaza, and despite his family’s efforts to match their events with the times of his presence in the Strip, these arrangements not always. pass.

When asked about his highest wishes, he said: “To work in Jerusalem during the day and return to my family home in Gaza at night to eat and sleep, then return to my workplace the next day.. . This seems to be a normal routine in all countries of the world, but it is a wish for me as a Gazan doctor.”

With each Israeli escalation in the Gaza Strip, the lives of the two young doctors are turned upside down. About this, Khaled says: “During the days of the war, I sometimes stayed in the operating rooms for 10 hours straight, and every minute I wanted to make sure that my family was okay.”

8- General surgery specialist, Gazan doctor Khaled Al-Shawa at Al-Makassed Hospital (Al-Jazeera Net)
Anesthetist Thaer Abu Amer (left) on assignment at Al-Makassed Hospital (Al-Jazeera)

We say goodbye to this calm doctor after a call through loudspeakers about the existence of an emergency situation that he had to go see, but not before he and his friend expressed their joy at the experience, because the most beautiful thing in their scientific and professional career is their presence in Jerusalem and near the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, which every Gazan dreams of visiting.

According to the Director General of Al-Makassed Charity Hospital, Doctor Adnan Farhoud, in an interview with Al-Jazeera Net, approximately 600 Palestinian doctors completed their various specialties in the hospital’s specialized residency program, and 30 of these doctors graduated from came to Gaza. Band.

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