‘ Doctor of the Year’
mother quickly at ease. The walls are decorated with fluffy toys and cartoon characters.
“For us, the doctor is not a foreigner,” says the girl’s mother, Nora Kander- Beres. “He has lived here for a long time and for us, he is not Yemeni ... he is Hungarian.”
Abdulrahman came to Hungary in 1989, the year when communism collapsed, to study medicine on a state scholarship.
He grew up in a village in northern Yemen and decided to be a doctor after his younger sister died when she accidentally swallowed a coin. There was no doctor around to save her.
“We tried to help her as best as we could, but unfortunately ... she died in front of our eyes,” he said.
His initial experiences in Hungary were not always positive. Once the institute where he stayed with other foreign students in 1989 was surrounded by skinheads, with a reputation for violence and racism.
“The first night was scary as we were told not to leave the institute in the morning because it was surrounded by skinheads. I had no idea who skinheads were,” he said.
He graduated in 1996, and after spending two years in his homeland, he returned to Hungary. Since then he has not had any negative experiences here, he said.
When asked whether he considered himself Yemeni or Hungarian he said: “This is like when you ask a mother which of her children she loves: I don’t have a first or second home. I love both countries the same.”
Abdulrahman, who treated several migrant children from Syria in the Gyula hospital last year, said he was convinced that Europe should not be left alone to resolve the migration crisis.
“This a problem for the whole world to solve, not just Europe,” he said, adding that Hungarians’ fears of migrants could also be understood.
“I myself, have not felt any difference whatsoever: people here like me just the same as a year ago, or two years ago.” – Reuters