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Dr. Mohamad Majed Bari
In the hell of Aleppo, the roads were especially deadly, having cost the lives of many doctors who were ready to brave the dangers to bring relief to those in need. As Dr. Mohamad Majed Bari returned from his hospital tour in Aleppo on 15 October 2014, a thermal missile hit his vehicle and killed him immediately.
Date of death: 10/15/2014 (31 years old)
Dr. Majed completed his medical studies at Aleppo University in 2007. He was among the first doctors to work for UOSSM and was responsible for the Aleppo Medical Committee for nearly a year. He had to flee Syria and moved to Kilis in Turkey with his wife, his two children and his parents but he regularly returned for missions. He was also working with “Physicians Across Continents” in 2013.
Conditions of death:
Dr. Mohamad Majed Bari lost his life while he was on the perilous Castillo rd . This was the only road to get in and out of the besieged city of Aleppo to reach the northern region.
At 4pm, when he returned with a colleague after his hospital tour, an old man on the roadside stopped them in order to hitch a ride. Dr. Majed agreed and left his seat in the front to move to the back of the vehicle. They reached a section of road that was not sheltered by buildings, known to be the most dangerous because of thermal missiles which fell weekly on vehicles passing by. Drivers would frequently drive at more than 120 km/h in order to prevent the missile from following the source of the heat.
A thermal missile was sent from an area under Syrian control and hit the vehicle. The two other passengers were saved but Dr. Mohammad Majed Bari died immediatly.
Dr Abu Mousab, the President of the Aleppo Medical Council was there when the bodies were transported to the hospital: “I was in the emergency room. Someone interrupted me and told me that Dr. Majed had been hit by a missile and that his body was in the corridor. I did not believe it, I hurried to see, and when I opened the bag, I recognized his face despite his darkness. I was devestated.”
“He has been involved since the beginning of the war and has supported his people as a doctor, despite the enormous pressure of his family who is very committed to the regime. He was an optimist, always smiling. He was a tender father, a grateful son, and a loving husband”. – Dr Ahmed Bananeh, founding member of UOSSM
Dr. Zaher Sahloul, President of the Syrian American Medical Society, SAMS, in October 2014 (published on the Huffington Post)
“My name is Dr. Mohamad Majed Bari
My friends and patients called me Dr. Majed
I was a doctor not a terrorist
I saved lives while terrorists take lives away
I was killed when my car was targeted with a heat-seeking missile by a Syrian fighter jet
I bled to death
No emergency crew was able to reach me on time
The International Committee of the Red Cross and the UN are not allowed by the government in my hometown behind rebel lines
They stay away safe in the capital
They have to abide by the system’s bureaucracy
The system does not protect me or my patients. There were no news reports of my death
The reporters are all in Kobani
I was riding in an ambulance in Aleppo trying to save another life
Another three civilians were killed with me
They joined another 200,000 Syrians killed in my homeland
I was working with a humanitarian organization called Saving Lives!
I was killed while saving lives
“How Ironic,” you may say but Syria is the land of ironies these days
Many of my colleagues left Aleppo because they were afraid about losing their lives
Some of my friends were detained, tortured and killed just because they insisted on working as doctors
They swore to save lives
They were treated like criminals or even worse
We were told that the whole world respects our neutrality
We were told the Geneva convention guarantees our impartiality
We were told that being a doctor is like being an angel
You give from yourself to heal your patient
The regime did not respect any of that
The world did not rush to help us
We suffered in silence like my homeland
Some of my friends died drowning trying to flee on boat to a new land of hope
They were swallowed by unsympathetic waves of the Mediterranean sea
I stayed because it is my duty to save lives
I stayed because if I left who else will stay?
Who else will offer a hand of healing to a sobbing child pulled out of the rubble of her home destroyed by a barrel bomb?
Who else will vaccinate the children in my neighborhood so they don’t have polio or measles?
Everyone left us to face our fate
We have no one but God
He is watching those who deserted us
I guess He is testing them and testing us
I don’t expect anyone to react to my death
I don’t expect anyone to stop the killing in my hometown
I lost my faith in humanity
But I lived a fulfilling life and I don’t regret a minute I had serving my patients
I will join another 560 Syrian doctors who were killed by the war criminals
My patients will miss me and so will my wife and two young children
I will miss what is left of my city and homeland
I will miss the courage of my colleagues who are still working
Saving lives as usual
I will miss their faith, their warmth and their humor
And I will miss the sounds of the barrel bombs
It is too silent here
It is too cold
It is too dark
It is too “un-Syrian”
Pray for me and for my homeland”