‘We should deal with what we share,’ says 1st Arab lady head of Israeli ER

2021-05-18 22:10:45

When Dr. Shaden Salameh-Youssef was 10 years outdated, she needed to name up an ambulance for her sick grandfather.

“I barely spoke Hebrew, however my dad and mom had been busy taking good care of him, so I needed to do it,” she stated.

Nearly 30 years later, Salameh remembers this episode as a defining second in her determination to turn out to be a health care provider.

“I felt so helpless and I noticed how necessary it might be to have a health care provider within the household in case somebody bought sick,” she says in her workplace on the Hadassah College Medical Heart Mount Scopus Emergency Drugs Division. “Once I was a bit older, I began to be attracted by the final thought of serving to others.”

To pursue her mission, Salameh-Youssef left the little village of Turan in northern Israel to check medication on the Hebrew College in Jerusalem, the town the place she has lived ever since, the place she did her residency in inner and emergency medication, obtained a masters in well being administration, and started her profession.

Three years in the past, Salameh-Youssef turned the primary Arab-Israeli lady within the nation to move an emergency division, supervising 10 medical doctors and 40 nurses in addition to quite a few paramedics and non-medical employees, amongst them Jews, Arabs, Christians and Muslims.

Hadassah-University Medical Center in Jerusalem's Mount Scopus Emergency Medicine Department with her Jewish and Arab staff. (Photo credit: Rossella Tercatin)

Hadassah-College Medical Heart in Jerusalem’s Mount Scopus Emergency Drugs Division together with her Jewish and Arab employees. (Picture credit score: Rossella Tercatin)

Her research weren’t at all times straightforward, however the challenges motivated her.

“The expertise of shifting to Jerusalem was tough; I knew Hebrew, however not in addition to Arabic,” she stated. “I used to be distant from my group, however I used to be additionally decided to satisfy the opposite. Lots of my roommates over the course of the years had been Jewish, in addition to lots of my mates. We had been all united within the purpose of saving others. Working collectively for us was very pure as a result of we shared the identical values. This is similar approach I really feel concerning the ambiance at our hospital immediately.”

As ethnic riots are disrupting the coexistence in lots of Arab-Jewish cities, the physician expressed concern.
“It is extremely unhappy,” she stated. “I’m towards violence in any kind, and I feel that we’re seeing many points in all sectors of Israeli society, together with types of violence not associated to Jewish-Arab tensions comparable to violence towards ladies.”

Nevertheless, Salameh-Youssef additionally maintained a constructive perspective.

“Our duties as leaders is to get folks to deal with the great, in order that issues can be OK,” she stated. “It’s straightforward to take a look at different folks’s errors, however as an alternative we should always deal with how we may be higher.”

Her medical employees is one instance.

“Exterior, Jews are terrified of Arabs, Arabs are terrified of Jews, however right here we handle as one household,” stated Salameh-Youssef. “Typically we additionally clear up tensions between sufferers coming from completely different communities. We don’t at all times succeed, however fairly often we do.”

Requested why there should not extra Arabs in managerial positions in Israel, the physician stated: “I’m undecided why this occurs however I do assume that schooling is crucial, and I encourage everybody, particularly ladies, to pursue an schooling. Not essentially to turn out to be leaders, however to complement themselves.”

Salameh-Youssef stated that generally she does expertise discrimination.

“The 2 conditions the place it occurs essentially the most are on the airport, and when in search of an condo,” she stated. “When my husband and I had been in search of an condo to lease, I may hear the horror in folks’s voices once they heard our names. They’d settle down solely after I defined that we had been each medical doctors. I feel it is vitally unhappy, as a result of I really feel that I’m judged not for who I’m however for the place I’m from. They’d belief me to save lots of their lives, however not for me to stay of their condo.”

Nonetheless, Salameh-Youssef stated that the range of Israeli society is what makes it particular.

“Our society must heal. We’re blended, and that is what makes us stunning and particular, however we have to deal with what we’ve got in widespread, not on our variations. We’ve to consider our shared future.”

Her hope is that medical staff may be an inspiration for all of society.

“We’re right here, all collectively, Jews and Arabs, of all religions, working, exhibiting up for each medical emergency and leaving all the pieces behind to handle the sick,” stated Salameh-Youssef. “We could be a gentle, a candle shining within the darkness.” gentle, a candle shining within the darkness.”

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