One year has passed since Dr Isa Abdur Rahman, a British doctor and Imperial graduate, died in Syria where he was treating injured civilians. At only 26 years old, Dr Isa Abdur Rahman died when the field hospital where he was working was shelled by the forces of the Syrian Regime on Wednesday 22nd May 2013.
In the aftermath of his passing, a JustGiving page was set up in his name by Hand in Hand for Syria, initially aiming to raise £7000 for an ambulance in Syria. Remarkably, this money was raised in less than 14 hours and the page is now dedicated to raising the start -up funds for a Field Hospital in Homs, which was always a dream of Dr Isa Abdur Rahman's and will be named after him. So far the page has raised over £75,000 pounds with almost 1200 individual donations. This extraordinary amount of money reflects how his memory remind us all of the beauty of charity and helping others that are in need.
The organisation page said that: 'those who knew him personally, and those who have heard of him, will know what an amazing, inspirational, kind and deeply caring person he was'. Hand in Hand for Syria said:
"The brave young doctor sacrificed his life to save the lives of others and he will be very sorely missed by the many family, friends and colleagues who knew him".
Dr Isa Abdur Rahman was born and raised in London, graduated from Imperial College London in 2011 and had left his job at the Royal Free Hospital to volunteer with a Hand in Hand for Syria. He left behind a devoted wife, his family, friends and everyone whose heart he touched.
A close friend of Dr Isa Abdur Rahman and fellow classmate, Dr Aamir Shamsi remembers his friend as "a towering figure with great wisdom amongst his peers and colleagues in the medic and Islamic Society community, helping out and contributing to many activities and events". He went on to say that,
"He was a kind hearted and gentle individual who always put others before himself, as seen in his ultimate sacrifice".
Dr Isa Abdur Rahman spent almost a year in Syria prior to his death. He initially travelled to the village of Atmeh to set up a clinic and then moved from town to town to help those in need. At the time of his death, he was working in a secret clinic in Idlib. The hospital was shelled and another two civilians died and two were wounded in the attack.
The sacrifice made by Dr Isa Abdur Rahman is one we should not forget. The memory he leaves behind is one of determination, selflessness and the need to help those less fortunate. He used his medical knowledge and skills and risked his life, working in extremely dangerous situations in the middle of a war zone to treat those that would have died without his help. People like these are hard to come by and their efforts should be remembered in the hope that we can learn from them and appreciate the power of charity.