“After last week’s attack on a British soldier in London, the story of Dr Abdul Rahman would serve as a reminder of the good that British Muslims were doing in the world. To donate, readers can visit: www.justgiving.com/for-Isa”
Dr Isa Abdur Rahman was a true hero and a reminder of how great the Muslim community in the UK really is. A young man, he sacrificed his life to help people he had no relationship with other than the bond of humanity and the faith of Islam. The person who buried him described how he was smiling after he died and the whole area smelled of perfume.
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British doctor dies in Syria hospital attack
Laura Pitel, 27 May 2013
A young British doctor has been killed in Syria in an attack on a field hospital where he was treating civilians.
Isa Abdur Rahman, 26, was working with the British charity Hand in Hand for Syria in a secret clinic in the northwestern Idlib province.
He was injured on Wednesday morning when a shell hit the hospital and died soon afterwards. Two other civilians died and two people were wounded in the attack that the charity blamed on government forces.
Dr Abdur Rahman’s parents, siblings and wife were said to be devastated by his death and too upset to speak.
Faddy Sahloul, the founder of Hand in Hand for Syria, said that Dr Abdur Rahman was a kind, generous man who “loved to help people from the bottom of his heart”.
Dr Abdur Rahman, who was from northwest London, trained at Imperial College and worked at the Royal Free Hospital in the capital before volunteering in Syria. Of Indian descent, he was not a native Arabic speaker but learnt the language and became extremely popular with local people.
He began working in the country almost a year ago, starting in the village of Atmeh on the Turkish border, where he set up a clinic and travelled from town to town offering assistance. His body was buried there last week.
Latterly he had been based in the Idlib field hospital, performing operations on those wounded by shelling or aerial bombardment.
Doctors working in Syria face hugely challenging conditions, working with the most basic equipment and medicines to treat catastrophic injuries. They are often themselves the target of attacks by government forces fighting to quash the opposition to President Assad and are often forced to work in secret clinics hidden inside homes.
Mr Sahloul said it was impossible to describe the value of the work that Dr Abdur Rahman had done over the past 12 months. “He put most Syrians to shame,” Mr Sahloul said. “He wanted to make a difference. He believed that, as a doctor, this was where he was needed — to help the wounded rather than sitting in England with everyone else, earning money.”
A fundraising page set up in his memory on the website Just Giving has already raised more than £20,000. Mr Sahloul said the charity would use the funds to fulfil Dr Abdur Rahman’s ambition of setting up a hospital in the city of Homs, which will be named after him.
Much of the media coverage about Britons travelling to Syria has focused on the small number going to join Islamist fighters in the country, raising fears of radicalisation. But hundreds of people, particularly those of Syrian origin, have also risked their lives to offer humanitarian assistance with small charities or ad hoc groups.
Mr Sahloul said he hoped that, after last week’s attack on a British soldier in London, the story of Dr Abdul Rahman would serve as a reminder of the good that British Muslims were doing in the world. To donate, readers can visit: justgiving.com/for-Isa