WHAT'S YOUR NAME?

Specialist vascular surgeon, Dr Raphael Walden asks the young Palestinian rock-throwing youth his name. Israeli soldiers had retaliated. The quick assessment by the Jewish doctor - the young Arab has lost a lot of blood. The Arab hospital on the West Bank determined his case was critical and so the expertise of Dr Walden was required urgently in Jerusalem. The doctor looks into the young man’s eyes and sees hatred.

“What’s your name?”

“Jihad.”

The Doctor, stunned by his response asks, “Can you move your toes?”

Youth replies, “Jihad.” The Jewish doctor is shocked. (All this young man can think about is holy war!!!)

“Can you move your legs?”

“Jihad,” comes the response again.

The Jewish doctor returns his gaze to the young Palestinian’s eyes and feels the hatred. However the extent of his injuries changes his focus, and respect grows for the young warrior.

Medical staff say with disgust, “Send him back to the West Bank.”

“No we won’t,” replies Dr Walden and proceeds with lengthy and difficult surgery.

After the operation, the Jewish doctor is told the young patient’s father is in the waiting room.

“I’ve great respect and admiration for your son.” Then comes the unexpected reply from the father.

“Thank you. My name is Ahmed and my son is called Jihad.”

A roar of laughter erupts from all the participants at the conference.

Dr Walden said, “That moment in the waiting room of the hospital was transformative for me.”

Dr Raphael Walden, for many years has made regular visits, with other doctors, to the West Bank to provide free medicines, hearing aids and medical care for the Palestinians.

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© 2017 by David Kerr