The mi­grant who be­came

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - LIVING - By Krisztina Than

AB­DUL­RAH­MAN Ab­dulrab Mo­hamed some­times cooks Hun­gar­ian beef stew, his favourite dish, for his three sons us­ing spices from Ye­men, where he grew up.

The 45- year- old pae­di­a­tri­cian, who has lived and worked in the town of Gyula near Hun­gary’s east­ern bor­der with Ro­ma­nia for al­most two decades, says he has be­come a Hun­gar­ian at heart.

The doc­tor, who treats hun­dreds of new­born ba­bies each year, among them many pre­ma­ture ones, was voted by his pa­tients on the In­ter­net as “Doc­tor of the Year” for his ded­i­ca­tion. He re­ceived the pres­ti­gious Astel­las prize in Bu­dapest re­cently.

A for­mer mi­grant to Hun­gary, Ab­dul­rah­man said he had found his true call­ing as a doc­tor in Gyula, where he is fully ac­cepted by Hun­gar­i­ans.

This em­brace by Hun­gar­i­ans has not changed since last year when the coun­try be­came a key route for hun­dreds of thou- sands of mi­grants flee­ing war and poverty in the Mid­dle East and Africa. The in­flux prompted Hun­gary’s gov­ern­ment to erect a fence along the coun­try’s bor­ders with Ser­bia and Croa­tia to keep out mi­grants. Sur­veys showed most Hun­gar­i­ans sup­ported the idea.

“My heart beats faster when a Hun­gar­ian wins ( in sports), when I hear the Hun­gar­ian na­tional an­them,” Ab­dul­rah­man says, adding that he had never felt like an out­sider in the town.

“I do not feel an alien here, they let me into their house, to their most val­ued treasure ( their child) ... and they place a lot of trust in me,” said Ab­dul­rah­man, who has been a Hun­gar­ian cit­i­zen since 2007.

His case is one of the suc­cess sto­ries of in­te­gra­tion in Hun­gary, which granted asy­lum or some other kind of in­ter­na­tional pro­tec­tion to just 508 mi­grants last year.

In his con­sult­ing room, the doc­tor treats a small girl who has a skin prob­lem in a play­ful man­ner which puts both her and her

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