A message from the President
Dear NAAMA Members,
As we continue to navigate our lives during these trying times, I stand alongside each of you in our shared mission as the voice of Arab American healthcare professionals. Together, we will continue to address the diverse needs of our community – professional, cultural, educational, and philanthropic.
This year has presented profound challenges across the Arab world, from earthquakes in Turkey, Syria and Morocco to floods in Libya, and now the ongoing catastrophe in Gaza and Palestine. These events deeply impact us all. Regardless of our individual roots to the Arab world, Palestine holds a special place in our hearts, a connection to this land, a homeland to us all.
Reflecting on my experience as a surgeon during the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990, I operated on both the Kuwaiti soldiers and invading forces. During that time, medical professionals were respected, hospitals were protected and maintained as safe zones, and the sanctity of healthcare was upheld, even amidst the conflict. It never crossed my mind that I would witness the violation of these fundamental principles in Gaza where hospitals are destroyed, and healthcare personnel are killed. The current situation is a stark violation of all aspects of humanity, yet no objections have been raised.
History has shown us that, in the end, the transgressors are the ones who will not prevail. Considering the present circumstances, we have made the difficult decision to cancel our international meeting scheduled to take place in Egypt in December 2023. Instead, we are taking action to help those in need. NAAMA is working to collaborate with various organizations to provide virtual guidance to the healthcare professionals in Gaza, deliver healthcare to the sick and injured, and provide financial support for the necessities of life. NAAMA has a long-standing history of taking initiatives, providing service, and engaging in philanthropic activities in the Middle East. As we prepare to play our part, we ask NAAMA members – healthcare professionals, auxiliary members, and students, to join us in serving our fellow human beings in Gaza and Palestine during this critical time.
As we witness the tragic events of this ongoing catastrophe, our collective hope is that no more lives are lost, and that we can rebuild what has been destroyed. We extend our heartfelt gratitude for your support and dedication to NAAMA. We look forward to the brighter days ahead when we can come together to celebrate our shared passion for medicine, our commitment to the Arab American medical community here in the U.S., and our deep affinity to the Arab world. Palestine is a homeland to all of us and I hope to have the opportunity to reunite at our International NAAMA Conference in Jerusalem in 2027/2028.
In unity and with a commitment to humanity,
Nahidh Hasaniya, MD, PhD, FACS, FCCP