Friday, March 18, 2011

From Tahrir to Switzerland ..the Oracle physician turned hero!

I just returned from Lucerne (Luzern) Hospital here in Switzerland after spending few hours with Dr. Ahmed Ghareeb, a wonderful hero of the 2011 Egyptian Revolution. Ahmed is a physician who later studied IT and became an IT specialist with Oracle in Cairo. January 28th was one of the most violent days of the Revolution; Ahmed was trying to stop a Republican Guard armored truck from delivering what looked like tear gas canisters to the police. Ahmed thought the vehicle was regular military; he was confused as to why, when the Army was generally neutral or protecting the protestors, this particular vehicle was attempting to aid the police. Apparently the Republican Guards look like Army but receive orders directly from the Presidency. After trying to plead with the officer in charge not to aid the police, the officer, agitated, shouted “I will kill you mom’s boy!”; the vehicle ran him over. Ahmed lost consciousness immediately and was taken to a hospital. Eight days later Ahmed finally opened his eyes, he did not recognize his own mother. Following intensive treatment in Cairo hospitals during February and thanks to the support of Oracle, Ahmed’s family and many friends he was moved to the care of a specialist team in Lucerne on March 4 where he has been undergoing extensive tests and evaluations since his arrival.

I met Ahmed for the first time today, he is now able to use his laptop for short periods , talk coherently, but still not able to concentrate and has very serious damage to the left side of his face, left eye, and has lost hearing in his left ear. He will need a battery of surgeries to fix extensive nerve, bone and blood vessel damage, followed by attempts to fix hearing and repair of the damage to the eye. Ahmed’s first surgery is scheduled next week and could last up to 17 hours. Today, Ahmed was upbeat, positive, amazingly strong, courteous and so full of grace.

Ahmed Ghareeb is typical of the young people of Egypt who protested against the brutal oppressive regime of deposed President Mubarak. People from the middle and upper classes of Egypt rose for their dignity, out of a belief that Egypt deserves better than a thuggish torture ridden police state. Geeks, bloggers, employees of Oracle, of Google, university professors, dentists, writers, lawyers, singers and eventually all of Egypt rose peacefully for freedom and human rights; they made Egypt proud and the world looked on in admiration.

As Ahmed and I talked today, we discovered a common bond, our love for the Sinai Peninsula our love of the desert and Red Sea. Ahmed spoke to me about his passions with a wonderful sparkle in his right eye. Ahmed promised to show me the remains of giant whales 400 km inland in Egypt’s western desert in Wadi Hitan; a beautiful spot that Ahmed loves to camp in. I can’t wait for him to show me his favorite desert spots. With Ahmed’s determination, the support of his family and friends from Egypt and Oracle worldwide and the wonderful team of doctors who have cared for and will care for Ahmed, this will be soon, I am sure.

Ayman S. Ashour
March 18, 2011


Ali thabet said...

I wish I could touch him, kiss him, and big him to forgive me that I wasn't there, at that time when he was injured, to help. God bless him.

Anonymous said...

thnx 4 z update. if you visit him again pls send him my regards, and appreciation, i'll pray for him and every one who had to pay such high price for Egypt's Freedom,God Bless. Dalia.

A Guy said...

What an inspiring person. Amazing that you got to meet with him. Thank you for taking the time to do that and to share his story with us.