Blog  Breaking Down Borders and Welcoming the Stranger through Medicine

Breaking Down Borders and Welcoming the Stranger through Medicine

By Ali Klein, Sci-Tech Israel Madricha 

I wasn’t sure what to expect from the Galilee Medical Center. I knew that it has been taking in injured Syrians for that last couple of years, but I didn’t know the extent of their work nor anything about the hospital.

The tour started off with going through to hospital and peeking into exam rooms in the radiology department such as X-ray rooms and CT-Scan rooms. The doctor taking us around explained how the machines work to the teens and gave examples of what they’d look for. For example, he showed us the X-rays of a Syrian victim whose leg was completely filled with screws and metal, pointing out how metal and bone appear differently on an X-ray.

The doctor even took us into a room where we could see a procedure in process. I overheard one camper say “This is like Grey’s Anatomy.” The doctor had told us that for most of the procedures they don’t use general anesthesia and therefore patients are mostly awake, they just can’t feel anything. This is something that surprised us all.

After the tour we were taken into the lecture room where a Cardiologist was describing the procedures and exams he does and what his job responsibilities are. He showed us a video from his lab, explaining his procedures while doing a heart exam. It felt like we were in the lab examining the heart with him.

We then began the discussion of the hospital’s geographical position in Israel and their role in treating people from Syria. The Hospital is about six miles away from the Lebanon border and the only hospital in Israel that provides medical treatment to people over the border due to their advanced medical techniques and their proximity to both Lebanon and Syria. The hospital has taken in thousands of people from Syria to treat them. The hospital allows them to stay for days, weeks, and even months. We watch a documentary that showed the impact the hospital has on their Syrian patients. Many of victims treated at the Galilee Medical Center say they were raised to be afraid of and dislike Israel and therefore at first don’t trust the Israeli doctors. Guided by the hospital’s motto “adam l’adam adam,” a person is a person to someone, they treat everyone equally no matter their race, religion, or ethnicity. This care that is given to each Syrian victim by Israeli doctors changes their perception of Israel as an enemy.

What was eye opening to all of us was how even though Israel and Syria do not get along with each other, this Israeli hospital has taken it upon themselves to care for Syrian civilians. It just goes to show how even with physical barriers separating countries, Israel is breaking down those borders to help people. It’s important for our teens to see how even with conflict, at the end of the day we’re all human and we want to help each other.

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