Sicily, Italy – Doctor No. 100 died at the forefront of Italy when the country struggled to contain the epidemic of the coronavirus, Samar Sinjab, a 62-year-old Syrian woman born in Damascus.
After living in the Veneto region in northeastern Italy since 1994, he contracted the virus from a patient in the early stages of the pandemic and died after spending two weeks in the intensive care unit.
He worked until his last days. The last WhatsApp message he sent to one of his patients, according to the newspaper Corriere della Sera.
More than 18,000 people have died in Italy due to COVID-19, a disease that has infected more than 143,000 people in the country.
More than 8,000 health care workers are infected in the country, most of them in the north, according to the Italian National Institute of Health, and at least 100 doctors have died.
The family doctor visits the patient at home, without personal protective equipment (PPE), and he was the first person to be infected with the virus.
The 100th doctor who died in Italy is Samar Sinjab, a Syrian immigrant to Veneto. Today is remembered by Massimo Gramalini @ Maxgramel, who draws the first page Corriere is a national treasure. # COVID19 pic.twitter.com/XkpEu7gBM0
– Rachel Donadio (RachelDonadio) April 10, 2020
According to the Association of Foreign Doctors in Italy, there are about 20,000 doctors who have offspring in other countries.
Of these, 3,700 come from the Middle East. Since the 1960s, Arab youth have studied medicine in Italy.
“It is an indisputable task to serve our second country in light of the unprecedented state of emergency,” association president Fouad Odeh told Al Jazeera.
When treating patients, at least 15 Arab doctors have been reported hospitalized, three of them in the intensive care unit currently suffering from severe conditions. We also lost some of our colleagues and friends. But when we were saddened, we still felt our commitment to Italy and the profession we got. “
Here, the island shows a glimpse of four Arab doctors who lost their lives in this epidemic.
Abdel Sattar Ayroud – a family doctor who left the retirement center amid the epidemic
Airaud was born in Aleppo, Syria, in 1945.
At the age of nineteen, he fulfilled his dream and arrived in Italy to study medicine. He specializes in oncology and internal medicine at the University of Bologna in the north of the country.
After four years in a private clinic, he opened his own clinic in a town near Piacenza, in the Emilia Romagna region, and a family doctor became known to the local population.
He was gracious and kind. He followed me throughout my three pregnancy, and never complained about my numerous phone calls to calm my fears. One of her patients, Anita Santelli, told Al Jazeera that he would miss him as a friend.
Abdel Sattar Ayroud was one of the first doctors to be infected with the virus [Courtesy of family]
“My father has never forgotten his roots, Syria is part of our education,” said his eldest daughter, Kinda Iroud, 35.
He retired for five years but returned to work when the epidemic started. He did not want to leave his former patient in a difficult time.
We spent every summer in my youth in Syria, until the war started. But he owed everything to the country that received him, so it was only natural for him to help the patients who called him. ”
Erod was one of the first doctors to be exposed to the Coronavirus from a patient. When he showed mild symptoms, he was initially tested negative.
Then suddenly his condition suddenly worsened, so we called an ambulance. He said it when we saw him last time. “
Ayrood died on March 16.
His body was buried in Brescia, a city about two hours away from Piacenza, because there was no Muslim part in the local cemetery at the time.
After the death of the second Syrian, the mayor of Piacenza secures a special area to bury Muslims to be closer to their loved ones.
Tahsin Khuraisat – a gentle widower with a springy stand by the bed
A Palestinian citizen from Jordan, Khreisat, 66 years old, works in Brescia, one of the most affected cities in the Lombardy region.
“He lost his wife a few years ago, and he suffered because of her,” Federica Maestre, a former Khreisat associate, told the island.
The pain of the epidemic said, “Instead of closing it, it opened up to a new form of sensitivity and sympathy for others.”
He is cute, affectionate, funny, and as a doctor in the emergency department, loves to share stories about his childhood in Amman during a rare holiday in a long night shift.
Then he opened his own clinic.
Almost every day, Tahsin will send a good morning message or encourage his friends and patients to remind them of his presence if necessary. Maestri said, this is his way of saying, “I will always be there for you.”
Tahseen Khreisat loves to tell people about his childhood in Jordan [Courtesy of family]
In the early days of the epidemic, he had a patient.
“We use the Facebook Live feature to give relatives in both Italy and Jordan a feeling of normalcy while they are sad in a painful context,” Risa Labaran, spokesman for the Brescia Islamic Cultural Center, told Al-Jazeera.
His current heart condition makes him more vulnerable to viruses. He died on March 22.
Only imams and employees from the local Islamic funeral homes are allowed to attend the funeral.
Khuraisat body is now located in the Islamic section of Brescia General Cemetery.
However, the situation of Islamic burial remains critical in Italy amid a shortage of space.
“There are only 20 places in the cemetery, and with the current closure situation, it is difficult to arrange a funeral or repatriate the body.
Labran said: “Fear of the possibility of cremation, which is prohibited in Islam, increases the general feeling of anxiety.”
Abdul Ghani Makki – a loving grandfather who loves Italy and Syria equally
Mekki was born in Aleppo, Syria, in 1941, and is known not only as a doctor, but also a cultural anchor in his local community in Saint-Albidio Mare, in the Marche region of Italy.
“He is a symbol of cultural integration, and his story will be his legacy,” said his friend Corrado Virgili, who he last saw on March 2.
After studying medicine and surgery in Italy, he intends to return to Syria. But he fell in love with an Italian woman, and he had been calling Italy since 1961.
Makki specializes in resuscitation as well as pediatrics, then dentistry.
He helped his eldest daughter, Laila, to open and run a family clinic.
“He will work enthusiastically to help his patients, and he will not forget his role as husband, father and grandfather,” Leila told the island.
Abdel-Ghani Makki, a doctor who is interested in a husband and father, who does not see the difference between religion and nationality [Courtesy of family]
When he doesn’t treat his patients, Makki will tell his grandchildren – the talent he sees writing children’s books.
In his story, Makki blended Arab and Italian traditions to encourage intercultural dialogue in his local community.
Leila said her father’s love for Syria and Italy is equal.
“There is no difference in our family between Muslims, Christians, Italians or Syrians. My brother and I grew up with a broader understanding of humanity, thanks to him.”
Makki died on March 24, at the age of 79.
His latest book, which was portrayed by his friend Virgili, will be published after his death with the titles of Mary and Savannah Quinn.
Ghvont Mouradian – the “spiritual guide” who specializes in alternative therapies
Murad, known by his name Revont, died on March 29, at the age of 61.
In addition to practicing modern medicine, he also specializes in acupuncture and hydrotherapy.
El Mouradian was born to an Armenian family in Qamishli, in northern Syria, where he spent his childhood.
He moved to India to study gynecology, and in 1987 he went to Italy to major in medical hydrology at the University of Pavia.
He became a respected thermologist in Salsomaggiore, a city in northern Italy famous for its hot springs, as he continued to treat his patients until the lock was locked.
El Mouradian relatives, who were divided between Syria and Lebanon, were very sad that they were unable to say their last farewell due to travel restrictions.
In addition to his major in modern medicine, Ghvont Mouradian is an alternative therapist [Courtesy of family]
His niece in Beirut, Sarkis Kirkizyan, wrote on Facebook: “He was with us all in times of stress and when we faced health problems.
“Angry with a unique sense of humor, kind, loving and caring for all his family and friends. He leaves his mark with everyone who knows him with his unique passion. “
His colleague, Roberta Bianchi, said on his social media page: “When you go to India or China for a few weeks, everyone will miss you. Now you go forever, you will leave an indomitable void. He is a colleague, friend, who guides us all spiritually.”
Mirko Afsani, a Lombard neurologist known to the Muradians, told Al Jazeera that these Arab doctors who had paid the highest sacrifice should be remembered.
“Immigration should not only relate to problems. The sacrifice of these doctors teaches us important lessons for future reference.”
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