Dr. Mamdouh Aker is a very big deal in Palestine, the kind of man everyone knows and respects, and it’s easy to see why. He’s urology surgeon and the deputy chair of the Board of Trustees of Berzeit University in Palestine’s West Bank. Among the founders of the Mandela Institute for Political Prisoners and the Independent Commission for Human Rights, Dr. Aker was also a member of the Palestinian delegation to the Madrid Peace Conference and in the Palestinian-Israeli bilateral talks between 1991 and 1993. He’s also a member of several councils and committees focused on the health, education, and wellbeing of the Palestinian people. During his visit to the Carver College of Medicine he spoke to our students and faculty about the state of Palestinian healthcare. He was generous with his time, as he also sat down with med students Shakoora Sabree, Ossama Habu-Halawa, Jordan Harbaugh-Williams, and Joelle Friezen to discuss the topic. Our discussion was near the anniversary of his 45-day ordeal in the custody of Israeli security forces in the early 1990s because of his outspoken views that his Palestinian patients were prevented from receiving adequate healthcare.
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