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So far Aboud has created 7 blog entries.

Rambam Hospital And the Syrian Woman Told to Choose Between Her Life or Her Baby’s

(posted on March 14th 2018, by Aboud Dandachi)

Of the many incredible stories of Israel’s humanitarian efforts for Syrians over the past five years, an overlooked post on the website of Israel’s Rambam Hospital recalls what must be one of the most amazing acts of medical compassion not only in the Middle East, but in recent history. Indeed, this one incident is enough to hold up the staff and doctors at Rambam as a shinning example to be emulated by health professionals the world over.

A pregnant Syrian woman the south of Syria, in her ninth month of pregnancy, developed severe health complications. The Syrian doctors treating her at the time told her that such was the severity of her situation, that a C-section was imperative. Unfortunately, the carrying out of such a procedure would have resulted in the certain death of her unborn child. The woman was basically told that unless she received more advanced medical treatment, it was a choice between her life, or the life of her child.

Not being able to reach Damascus to the north, the unnamed woman left her family and traveled alone to the Israeli border. Once there, she was taken to the Rambam Hospital, and treated by no less of a figure than Professor Ido Solt, Director of the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and a world renown expert in high risk pregnancies.

The list of departments and medical experts involved in treating the unnamed Syrian woman’s case is long and impressive. Working with Dr Solt were Rambam’s Department of Vascular Surgery and Transplantation, Dr. Igor Kogan, an angiography expert and the Interventional Radiology Unit of the Department of Medical Imaging. A procedure was developed that could not possibly have been performed anywhere else in the region, which allowed the doctors to perform a C-section and deliver the baby in good health. After two weeks recovering at the hospital, mother and child returned to their family in the south of Syria.

No one reading the story above could possibly be failed to be moved and impressed by the amount of expertise and resources that Rambam brought to bear to treat this incredibly difficult case. The hospital itself has been mentioned many times on this blog, as a place where Syrian victims of the conflict have found life saving treatment on numerous occasions.

While countless countries and superpowers have gone to great lengths to wage war in Syria, Israel has distinguished itself by being the one country willing to take risks to treat Syrian victims of the war. As this case illustrates yet again, the level of care Syrians have been receiving in Israeli hospitals has been indistinguishable from that available to citizens of Israel itself. A Syrian woman, unable to obtain critical medical care in her country’s capital city, instead found it in a country that Arabs have been taught for generations to regard as the ultimate evil. As these dark times have proven again and again, Israel is infact the very kind of society that the Middle East needs more of. Israelis have every right to be proud of the efforts of its army and medical institutions in a time of the region’s history were very few participants have distinguished themselves in a good way.

The full story can be read here on the Rambam Hospital’s website.

2018-03-14T11:29:41+00:00 March 14th, 2018|

Syrian Doctors Turn to Israel for Urgently Needed Help with Maternity Health Care

(posted on March 6th 2018, by Aboud Dandachi)

In December 2017, the website Israel21c published an article by Abigail Klein Leichman on the assistance the IDF gave to open a brand new Syrian maternity hospital over the border inside Syria itself. Staffed by Syrian medical staff using equipment donated entirely by Israeli citizens, the hospital has treated over 200 pregnant women, and witnessed 30 births.

According to the article, “the hospital reportedly was opened in November in response to an urgent request from Syrian doctors who saw that many women could not get to the existing maternity hospital due to the difficult conditions.”

It says alot about the current state of the Middle East, that when Syrian doctors were desperate for assistance in providing medical care for pregnant Syrian women, they could not turn to the Iranian-backed despotic regime in Damascus, nor the Arab League, nor the increasingly ineffectual United Nations to provide something as non-controversial and straightforward as maternity medical care.

But such is the state of dysfunction of the Arab world, that it was Israel, a country that had every excuse and reason under the sun to stay above and out of the conflict, who stepped up and provided life-saving assistance to pregnant Syrian mothers and their newborns. Not Iran, nor the Russians, nor the Lebanese or Jordanians, and especially not the Assad dictatorship. Yet again, one is left utterly speechless and at a loss for words at the unprecedented and astonishing humanitarian actions of Israel and its citizens and army. Syrian babies will now be born into the world in a safe and healthy environment thanks to the efforts and donations of a country their parents were taught to regard as the ultimate evil in the region.

And while Israel’s detractors cannot even bring themselves to acknowledge Israel’s humanitarian efforts to Syrian victims of the conflict, not even they will be able to spin Israeli aid to maternity health care as “supporting ISIS and Al-Qaeda”. Of course, to the despotic regime in Damascus and their disgraceful backers, even Syrian babies in opposition areas are “ISIS and Al-Aqaeda”. Fortunately, Syrians have a far more humane neighbor in Israel. It cannot be said enough times, if only more of Syria’s neighbors were as humane as the Israelis, there would have been alot less Syrian refugees in this world.

The entire article by Israel21c is available here.

 

2018-03-06T12:14:53+00:00 March 6th, 2018|

A Study in Contrasts, Israeli and Kuwaiti Treatment of Traumatized Syrians

(posted on February 27th 2018, by Aboud Dandachi)

In 2015, at the height of the exodus of Syrian refugees to countries in the West, the wealthy Arab Gulf countries were very conspicuous in their refusal to take in any Syrian refugees. Indeed, Kuwait used the fact that many of these refugees would be suffering from psychological issues from the trauma of the war, as an excuse to shirk any and all responsibility for their care. Such was the composition and attitude of the group of nations that labeled itself “Friends of the Syrian People”.

Fast forward to 2018, and it took a very enterprising bit of reporting by Daniella P. Cohen over at The Medialine, to bring to light yet another aspect of Israel’s already astonishing and unprecedented care and aid to Syrian victims of the war. In addition to providing treatment to Syrian wounded, cancer patients, and children with hearing disabilities, Israel apparently is even going so far as to provide treatment to Syrians suffering from trauma and other psychological issues.

Israel’s Galilee Medical Center has treated over 2,300 Syrians, forty percent of whom were women and children. In addition to the expected trauma of war, some Syrians arrive at the center unconscious. The shock of finding themselves being treated in an Israeli hospital by Israeli medical staff has been so profound that the center has setup a procedure to acclimatize new patients to their unexpected surroundings.

“Hana Solomon, Director of the Social Work Department at the Galilee Medical Center, stated that while most of the Syrians at the center have “never had the serious problem of classic post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), there have been those experiencing suicidal tendencies and acute stress reactions. We have had children with depression who were seen by our psychiatrists.” ”

This at a time when even most universal health care plans in better off societies don’t even cover therapy. While the “Friends of Syria” may be content to occasionally write a few cheques for tents to house Syrian refugees indefinitely, Israel continues to astonish, astound and amaze with its incredible humanitarian efforts to a people from a country to which the term “friend” could never have applied since those two countries came into being. Israel’s humanitarian efforts are as ground breaking as they are under reported by most of the world’s media. Medialine isn’t a well known name among media outlets, but to their credit they have reported on an amazing aspect of Israel’s aid to Syrians.

The complete article is available here. 

2018-02-28T00:09:26+00:00 February 28th, 2018|

One Line That Sums Up the Difference Between Israel & Arab Countries

(posted on February 19th 2018, by Aboud Dandachi)

Ynet News had an article on the latest developments in Operation Good Neighbor, the IDF’s efforts to help Syrian victims of the conflict in that country.

Of particular interest was the following passage:

“…in recent months, Israel saw wounded and sick Syrians coming from as far as Damascus. There are no specialists on the other side, as most of them have fled….The wounded come in civilian clothes, and are no longer surprised to be allowed in.”

Remarkable. And this at a time when both Jordan and Lebanon have closed their borders to Syrians, whatever their situation or emergency.

Apparently in 2018, a Syrian sitting in the Syrian capital knows they can get medical treatment in the Golan, while being denied any sort of assistance from Syria’s Arab neighbors. There can hardly be a more illuminating demonstration of the differences between Israeli society and Arab ones. Over the past five years, more than one thousand Syrian children have been treated in Israeli hospitals.

The Ynet article also included information about the aid and assistance given to Syrian children with hearing issues. Costing around 5,000 NIS per hearing aid, the effort has been funded by Morris Kahn, a South-African born Israeli entrepreneur. It seems there has been no effort spared by Israeli and Jewish communities to help Syrians in need, while in contrast Syria’s other neighbors expend just as much effort in keeping Syrians away from their countries.

The full Ynet article can be read here.

2018-02-19T19:27:42+00:00 February 19th, 2018|

An Indication on How Comprehensive Israeli Aid to Syrians Has Been.

(posted on 12 February 2018, by Aboud Dandachi)

The Jerusalem Post had a lengthy and detailed piece and video on Operation Good Neighbor, the Israel Defense Force’s efforts to help wounded Syrians and provide aid across the border to Syrian communities in need.

Of particular interest was details of some of the aid provided by Israel NGOs and the Israeli government, whose scope and breadth was very comprehensive in terms of what communities suffering from a war would need:

542,880 liters of gas; 174 tons of clothes; 13 generators; 400 items of medical equipment, such as incubators and surgery room equipment; and 113 pallets holding 2,214 boxes of medicines have been given to Syrian civilians with the assistance of the IDF.

In addition, 6,351 packages of diapers have been sent across the border as well as 600 meters of piping to re-establish ruined water infrastructure, providing running water to 5,000 people in the villages. Mobile caravans have also been delivered to Syrians across the border to use as clinics and classrooms.

It is apparent from the quantity and quality of the assistance that Operation Good Neighbor is providing that this was and remains an extremely serious effort on the part of Israel and Israelis. This is not a case of “cheques for better tents” as often has been the case in the region. Indeed, Israelis are providing aid to Syrians with the same commitment and dedication as they would provide aid to faraway Jewish communities.

The entire article is available here. 

2018-02-12T18:57:17+00:00 February 12th, 2018|

NPR Report on Israeli Civilian Aid to Syrians

 Yotvat Fireizen-Weil, an Israeli volunteer, prepares boxes of children's medicines to be sent to Syria. She says her family sees Syria as the enemy and has found it hard to understand her activism on behalf of Syrians amid the Syrian civil war. Daniel Estrin/NPR


Yotvat Fireizen-Weil, an Israeli volunteer, prepares boxes of children’s medicines to be sent to Syria. She says her family sees Syria as the enemy and has found it hard to understand her activism on behalf of Syrians amid the Syrian civil war. (Daniel Estrin/NPR)

(posted on August 30th 2017, by Aboud Dandachi)

NPR published a report on Just Beyound our Border, a remarkable Israeli civilian aid group that has to date collected over half a million dollars worth of aid and donations for Syrian victims of the conflict there, and which has proven itself more effective than the far better funded UN aid initiatives inside Syria.

Staffed by Israeli civilian volunteers, the group has collected donations from Israelis donors and American Jewish organizations, which are then used to purchase medical supplies. The supplies themselves are delivered inside Syria by the Israeli NGO “Israeli Flying Aid”.

To date, no less than nine Syrian hospitals have received life saving medical equipment acquired by Just Beyound our Borders.

It is a remarkable testament to the compassion and humanity of Israel’s people that so much has been achieved through purely civilian means, especially when contrasted with the near hopeless aid distribution efforts of initiatives run by the UN. It takes an enormous amount of logistics and courage to deliver life saving aid inside a war zone even under the most accommodating of circumstances, and it is astonishing that Just Beyound our Border have been able to do so much for Syrians, under very adverse conditions.

(more…)

2017-08-30T14:05:06+00:00 August 30th, 2017|

The Night it All Began, from the Times of Israel

(posted on August 27th, 2017, by Aboud Dandachi)

The Times of Israel published a remarkable article by “Lieutenant Colonel A”, the commander of the IDF’s incredible efforts to provide aid and medical assistance to Syrian victims of the conflict in Syria, and the night it all began.

The colonel recounts the very moment the first group of 25 Syrian children crossed into the Golan to be received by soldiers from the IDF’s famed Golani brigade.

“It was surreal to see a mother holding her little daughter’s hands, almost collapsing from weakness. Instinctively, one of the Golani soldiers on the scene noticed the woman stumble and leapt towards her, gathering the child up in his arms”

There is something highly symbolic in an Israeli soldier instinctively displaying such humanity to a Syrian mother and child fleeing atrocities committed by the Syrian army. Indeed, alone among the region and world’s powers, Israel is the only country that has not sent in proxies to kill Syrians, but has directed its efforts towards saving Syrian lives, rather than adding to the killing.

(more…)

2017-08-27T12:52:00+00:00 August 27th, 2017|