Under Siege. Under fire. Undergraduate. The remarkable journey of Dr Hanna Kaade; from Aleppo to Berlin and from the Red Crescent to #dasSMACC.
This is an ordinary tale. An accidental tale of everyday heroism. There are many tales like this. Every one worth telling, worth hearing, worth learning from.
Hanna Kaade is a Syrian born and trained doctor. He completed his medical training in a town under siege, in a hospital under fire, in the centre of a civil war at the centre of a giant ugly geo-political maelstrom.
We know about Aleppo. But we don’t know Aleppo like Hanna does. Hanna and I took some time to talk a little about what it was like to exist in such a conflict, to be a medical student delivering battle field trauma care in between basic medical training. From the mundane to the horrible, from studying under candles to working for the WHO. If you got a chance to get out, what would you do? If you had to start your medical training again what would you do? Hanna had to re-train in Germany. Germany has welcomed more Syrians than any country not bordering Syria. By UN estimates Germany has more registered Syrian refugees than every other country in Europe (not just the E.U.) and Canada and the USA and Australia combined.
Now he is one of many, many doctors and nurses repeating his training and looking for a new start in Germany. Imagine how hard it will be for people like Hanna to get a start. When you hear him speak and when you see his smile you can believe that he will manage it. But it will be hard to get a break. Much harder than it was for most of us.
There are many tales like this from Aleppo, from Syria, from Iraq, from every conflict zone. We are increasingly saturated with images of war but we cannot let these bombed homes, shattered lives or lost loved ones become anything other that the unique tragedy that they represent. We are speaking about some mothers son, some fathers daughter, someone like you and I.
In different circumstances it could have been you or me, your sister, your child. Hanna’s story is one of hope, hope in the face of great adversity.