Monday, October 27, 2008
All in the name of Allah
We have a lot of Somali patients at our clinic. There's a baseline of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) since they've come here after the civil war in the early 1990's that happened in Somalia. I've heard stories from patients that I can't even imagine. These stories include mothers being separated from their children, the sound of bombs going off, and life in refugee camps. Not long ago, a patient came into the clinic dressed in her Somali attire as they all are. She told a story, through an interpreter, about how she was hit by a bomb and she still has shrapnel in her head and face. She lost her ear and hearing in one ear and was paralyzed on one side of her face so her mouth was drooping. She had six surgeries already and was considering having another but then decided not to. She had a meek voice and said, "I know I'm not beautiful but this is what I look like now." I said, "I think you're a beautiful woman and you've been through so much. You're strong and beautiful." She thanked me and then said, "Well, Allah had plans for me and I know he knows what he's doing." When I left the room I wanted to cry. How could she explain her ruined life by saying Allah had plans for her? And then I thought about her country destroying itself. If you haven't read the book, "Infidel", it's a must read.