Four years of medical siege on Ashraf and Liberty

By Ashraf Farshid, hunger striker in Camp Liberty

It was a sad moment. Today I heard about “Roya Daroodi” a close friend of mine, who has just passed away of sickness. This news broke my heart.  She was a young resident of Camp Liberty whose death has deeply touched me. I saw Dr. Nafisse on her routine check of her patients. She is one of our doctors in the Camp. When I asked her about Roya she could not hide her sorrow. As her doctor, naturally, she is touched more than anyone else. She spent many nights and days looking after Roya. “I wish it were me in her stead”, She said to me in a low voice.

I was depressed hearing what she said. Her words came deep from her heart. I tried to suppress my tears. “Who on earth did really understand what our doctors went through in the past ten years?” I whispered to myself.  “Each martyr must have affected them so much”

 

It has been ten years the residents have been under siege here and in Ashraf before that. That has made it very difficult for those in charge of infrastructural systems to keep a grip on their minimum duties. Anybody working in those systems has definitely struggled with many problems in her work. Running utility systems, procuring food and medicine have been almost impossible with the blockade imposed on us by the Iraqis.

This gets worse for our doctors. Several residents died last year just because we lacked the necessary medical equipment or the medicine patients needed. This situation aggravates as the Iraqi forces prevent the sick to leave for hospital for nonsense reasons.

One can imagine how a doctor feels when she lives at a time when sophisticated medical apparatuses exist, but she has none and can do nothing to keep her patients alive.

A doctor’s pledge for her work gets a deeper meaning when she is struggling for the same cause as her patients.

My mother, Minoo, is also a nurse here at Liberty. Every time a person dies here, I ask her to recall her memories about her. I always realized she did want to talk about it. It seemed I was asking her the most difficult question. She always made me change the subject.

Tonight, in speaking about Roya to Dr.Nafisse, I got the feeling that nobody understood what happened to our doctors in the past ten years. After we were subjected to five vicious massacres and all those seriously injured, with the lack of facilities, with the medical blockade and with all those limitations. I nearly forget that we are in 21st century when a doctor has to watch her patient‘s gradual death of very known diseases. I can understand now Dr. Nafisse when she said “I wish it were me in her stead”. Her patient died of a disease that could be perfectly cured.

I pray to God from the bottom of my heart to grant them patience .One day our history will recite its untold stories.

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