Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Dr. Hawa Abdi


Dr. Hawa Abdi, is one of the most amazing women alive. She is the first woman gynecologist in Somalia, she hands out free healthcare to 100,000s of refugees using her own money, she stares down the guns of Somali militants, and has been described as a mix between Rambo and Mother Teresa.

A Short Story:

It is May 5, 2011. 63 year old Dr. Hawa Abdi is working diligently aiding 100,000 sick, poverty afflicted, refugees on her own land in Somalia. While most charities find Somalia too dangerous to enter, Mama Hawa boldly makes a stand to stay. 

750 militants surround her hospital. These 15-16 year old boys started thrashing her place and pointing guns in her face stating, “Why are you running this hospital?” the gunmen demanded. “You are old. And you are a woman!”

Dr. Hawa showed no fear, instead she yelled right back, "I’m not leaving my hospital . If I die, I will die with my people and my dignity. You are young and you are a man, but what have you done for your society?" 

After five days of house arrest, the militants finally back down after women from the refugee camp and the media protested. However, that was not enough for Dr. Hawa, she demanded an apology letter and got it.

How it all began:

Hawa was born Mogadishu, Somalia in 1947. She dreamed of becoming a doctor at the age of 12, after her mothers death during childbirth. At 17, she won a scholarship to study gynecology in Kiev, Ukraine. She was the only woman among 91 Somalian students. 

 It was 1983, when she started to save lives in Somalia. She opened a one-room clinic on her family farm, which now has grown to host over 100,000 refugees. She not only helps the sick, but offers education and teaches women how to cook nutritiously and make clothes. All of which is free of charge. She continues to work even after having brain surgery and is supported by her two doctor daughters, Amina and Deqa.

In 2012, Dr. Hawa Abdi was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. 


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