Dr FawazDear Colleagues,

 

I hope you had a relaxing and enjoyable summer season with your loved ones. It is that time of year when the stress of multitasking and coordinating between work, home, and after school activities is in full effect. For those of us that have children, it is a rewarding feeling to finish a day’s work schedule and jump in the car to make it to your kid’s practice or game. The sense of pride one feels when they see their child regardless of age, dressed in their uniform and ready to compete in their respective sport or activity is priceless. Unless off-course their coach has decided to use their body to ensure the bench remains warm. It is situations like this that truly test our patience, and the subsequent decisions we make reflect who we are, what we stand for, and what kind of role model we will be for our children. Today is the anniversary of 9/11, and as I reflected on that tragic day in our history, I could not help but wonder what the overall sentiment will be towards Arab Americans decades from now and well into the future. Will my children feel the backlash that some of us felt after those horrible attacks? Will my grandchildren be viewed by some as suspicious citizens because of their ethnic makeup? Will we still be at war with a very small subset of individuals that reside in the lands we immigrated from? These are a few of the thoughts that crept their way into my mind as I watched and listened to the news outlets commemorating this tragic day and paying tribute to the innocent lives lost. As someone who witnessed firsthand one of the towers being struck by a plane, and subsequently took part in the response at ground zero on that fateful day, I can attest to the profound impact such an event can have on the psyche of a person. I do not like to watch replays of the planes striking those monumental buildings that stood for so long and represented the ambition and power of the greatest nation on earth. It is my sense of humanity that allows me to grieve for my fellow brothers and sisters that perished on that day in New York, and support the families who lost their loved ones in the Boston attacks, as well as pray for the end of violence that has engulfed Syria and resulted in the loss of countless lives of men, women, and children. As healthcare professionals, we have taken an oath to help without question, to comfort without hesitation, and to support without condition. I humbly ask each and everyone of you to take a moment to reflect on the current environment we are living in, the tension that we have created amongst each other as human beings, and the collective loss that we stand to experience should we continue down the path of self destruction as a human race. Whenever I feel that hope for peace and tranquility amongst our fellow brothers and sisters is unattainable, my little ones remind me a simple truth through their actions, that we have the power to complicate matters and simplify them as we please. I look forward to seeing you at our upcoming Gala Dinner on November 15th. We will be highlighting our accomplishments this year both locally and internationally, recognizing the Healthcare Professional of the Year, and awarding the first NAAMA-MI Scholarship for Graduate students. The night will be hosted by Dean Obeidallah who has quickly risen into the ranks of a national figure in both comedy and political satire. Please refer to www.naamami.com for more information.

Respectfully yours,
Sam Fawaz, M.D.
President