Last night I met this young Iranian surgeon who had just come back from a trip to Afghanistan as part of a doctors without borders humanitarian visit. Talking to him not only made me hopeful about humans, but it definitely help change my views on Iranians, for better.
This gentleman who had recently become a dad had left his plush home in santa monica to go do volunteer surgery on victims of war for 2 weeks. During this time he had performed 16 mostly reconstructive surgeries; 9 on kids below the age of 15.
Although he was VERY reluctant to talk about his involvement in this sort of activities, I was able to extract more info from him. This was apparently his 4th visit to war torn countries in middle east and Africa. Not only he had risked losing his life and leaving his wife and kid without a husband/father, its safe to assume he was losing thousand of dollars worth of income for each week he was out of office. Believe me, in S. California money talks.
When I asked him if he had met other Iranians on his trips, he mentioned that he had seen Iranian nurses, pharmacists, doctors, surgeons on each of his 4 trips. He mentioned that a female Iranian nurse in Africa who had lost a leg due to an explosion of an underground mine during her first visit in 2002, was still working 14 hour days in a clinic to help pregnant women. You could see tears in his eyes as he was talking about this nameless nurse.
I really could not sleep at all last night. One part of me was so happy to have heard such stories about decent human beings who do this kind of work, silently, and without the need for any public recognition. The other part of me was so ashamed of the life I lead in LA.
Other than donating small sums of money here and there, I really have not done a damn thing I can take to grave with me. I am proud of my sons for being decent human beings, thanks mostly to my wife, but what else?!! God damn I am depressed.