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Fatma Mohammed Al Saleh: A first for everything
September 12, 2014
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She was beautiful. The city that is. The sun rose from behind those lush hills and lit up the land. Light seeping through every single leaf of every tree, bush, or flower. It looked like increasing the saturation on a photograph. All shades of green. Subhan Allah. Not long after, showers of rain started pouring. It was so heavy you could see a curtain of water in front of you.

I just sat there and stared at it with my eyes barely staying open. My eyelids were metal heavy from not sleeping well the night before. It was a bumpy night. Literally. Whenever I or the girl in the top bunk turned or shifted the whole bed would shake. Hot. Humid. You could hear the ceiling fan WOOSH WOOSH WOOSH. Over and over again. I tossed and turned around that thin mattress unable to find a comfortable position. To add to that, I could not find any coffee in the morning to go with my breakfast.

So now I sit here. In the postgraduate building waiting area taking long and frequent blinks in an attempt to rest my eyes without sleeping. The doctor is late. But who cares right? As long as the view is good.

I got up and started walking back and forth. Fast. Bending my knees as much as possible with every step. Some trace of adrenaline in my arteries might help me stay alert. There sat a man in the same room who kept looking at me with every lap I took across the adjacent hallway. “You seem very nervous,” he said with a smile. I smiled back, “No, not really I’m just trying to stay alert.” A conversation followed that I do not seem to remember as my mind switched to auto-pilot after that sentence. Turns out later he works with the same doctor I was assigned to.

Anyways. Around an hour later came a short bald white-haired Sri Lankan man who told me to follow him. He said he’s taking me to “the doctor” whom I had no clue about. No name, face, or any sort of information was given to me other than the fact that he was a surgeon. I was very cautious as I walked behind him. We walked all the way to another building, through several narrow and dark hallways with wet floors, up an elevator and finally the surgical ward.

To be continued...
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Follow on Twitter  Instagram: @_theuntitled
Fatma Mohammed Al Saleh, a 22-year-old Emirati medical student,
is training in general surgery as part of her programme in Sri Lanka.
She is a passionate photographer and writer. Fatma shares her deeply
felt experiences about the healthcare system in Lanka.

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