Reference : V-P-IL-E-02988
Date : 20/04/2017
Caption : Gaza. Portrait of a 38-year-old doctor, who is also a trainer for ICRC trauma training for emergency medical units.
Photographer : ALWAHEIDI, Nidal
Confidentiality level : public
Publication restrictions : publication without restrictions
Copyright : ICRC
Description : This 38 years old doctor, is a consultant in surgical endoscopy at Shifa’ Hospital in Gaza; he is married and has two children. He got to know the ICRC in 2009 when he worked with an international surgeon seconded by the ICRC in Gaza, lending his support to the surgeons at the hospital during the war.
In 2010, the ICRC held its first war trauma training for emergency medical units; he took part initially as a trainee but was soon chosen as a trainer for the next courses. He says: “Based on my experience, ICRC’s role does not end with the end of a training course. It continues with the development of health services through ongoing field training of medical cadres, and through the development of the infrastructure where health professionals work.” Later, he was sent to participate in a training on war injuries in Geneva with ICRC funding. “I learned a lot and got to know other physicians. I also learned about the science of ballistic wounds and war injuries which is a distinguished science in Switzerland,” he says.
On a personal level, he feels that the major difficulty he faces is the lack of full control and the authority to make his own decisions - a problem most of the people in the Gaza Strip encounter. He adds that regardless of a person’s ambition, his planning and hard work, the restrictions imposed in the Gaza Strip always stand as an obstacle to any plans. Professionally, he deplores the many challenges that the hospitals in Gaza faces, including a shortage of training opportunities for medical staff, but also the pressures brought during war times by the mass influx of casualties.
He says: “I overcome the difficulties by grounding myself in realism. In the past, I was very ambitious, but when you are realistic, you can live with the bare minimum and still enjoy it. Besides, we need to translate our future goals into achievable goals and this gives hope. Sometimes, I get my energy from the pressure and tension that accompany my work.” Dr. Karem divides his days between lectures to medical students and work at the hospital or his private practice. Yet, he does not forget to devote some time to his daughters who inspire him with hope. He also likes reading and watching soccer matches and does not hesitate to change his plans so that he can spend some time practicing his hobbies.
Original material : digital
Resolution : 5760x3840
Orientation : landscape
Colour/B&W : colour