Wednesday, June 27, 2007

First Day in the Surgical Ward

June 11

Today was my first day in the surgical ward. I spent most of my time with an intern named Iyad, he speaks Arabic, Hebrew, English and Russian, all fluently. The first thing I did was clean the biggest bed sores I’ve ever seen on an old man, they were horrible. The head of his left femur was completely exposed. Aside from that we cleaned surgical wounds and sutures. The kid who came into the ER with scalp eversion had undergone one operation and was waiting to get a skin graft. Cleaning a child's skull while he's awake and staring at you is a strange experience.

When I got home Musa and I ate dinner alone. I asked him what effect the occupation has had on his family directly. He told me that several of his family members have been shot, and that his youngest brother is in administrative detention right now ("administrative detention" means he was kidnapped by Israel, and the Israelis have said they won't charge him with any crime or release him. The sentence is usually for six months, and is renewable indefinitely). He's an unemployed painter who manages to sneak into Israel once every three months to find work.

Note again the passivity of the population. The remarkable thing about these people isn't that so many of them are terrorists, but that so few are.