Dear Mr. Jassem Bu Hamad,
I don't know you and you never even saw my face. But today I would like to thank you for being the type of citizen that I admire and respect (and unfortunately, cross paths with less frequently these days).
We were both in the same pre-op room at Mubarak Hospital, waiting patiently for our turns for outpatient surgery. You were behind the curtain on the opposite side from me and overhead a not-very-nice conversation by a fellow citizen and her son.
We were all there for the same reasons: pain. We were all being treated. We had all had to schedule our surgeries (perhaps, like in my case, months in advance). And then arrive at the hospital and wait for hours again. I heard you say (then, at 9:30), that you arrived at 7 am. I arrived approximately the same time and started all the paperwork and pre-op procedures. And waited.
When my turn came, I was escorted behind a curtain by the nurses to change into a robe and wait on a cot to be wheeled into the operating room. I passed a woman in a wheelchair and smiled at her; receiving a scowl in return. I heard the woman loudly complaining (in Arabic as I'm sure she didn't think I understood) that a foreigner was being taken before her, a Kuwaiti. She wanted to complain to management. You, Mr. Bu Hamad, remained quiet. The woman (of a family name I recognize and have friends from) had no idea where I was from. I could have been a Kuwaiti also by marriage (or birth) for all she knew.
Her son (maybe my age) arrived and complained loudly that his mother was elderly and should be taken first. There were other elderly women of all nationalities in the waiting room. None were complaining. Many were in wheel chairs. One woman had a breathing tube and was obviously paralyzed; her daughter quietly sat and dabbed a tissue to her chin, lovingly, as they waited. None of these elderly women or their companions pushed forward or complained in any way.
Finally, Mr. Bu Hamad, you said loudly from behind the curtain, that we are all the same, that we were all waiting, that we are all human with mothers and fathers and children and that we all had scheduled surgeries and were waiting our turns. The son had no better argument than to tell you in unspecific terms that it was not your business. To which you replied, "Who said I'm talking to you? I'm talking to myself."
And I'm thankful to you for that.
Thank you for standing up for the rest of us and for making me proud to spend a little time in the presence of a compassionate and righteous person. There is too much hate in the world. People who are either in bad health or with loved ones in bad health should understand the importance of kindness (and maybe karma?).
So if anyone out there knows Mr. Bu Hamad (with a very deep voice) and can pass this along to him, I would certainly appreciate it.