Bikes, Biology, Breakfast
Join Date: Jun 2008
Bikes: 1980s Raleigh, new Masi 1x9 commuter, newer raleigh single-speed
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Travels and work in the Middle East (Iraq / non-profit work content)
I realize a lot of the people on this board won't care to much about this, but for anyone that is interested in non-profit work or helping out communities that have been victims of injustice or Iraq or the Middle East in general (or Congenital heart disease/medical anthropology?) I'm going to be keeping an online journal about my summer...
This summer I'm going to be spending 2 and a half months in Iraq working to help Kurdish and Iraqi children with congenital heart disease get life-saving surgery. There is an extremely high rate of congenital heart disease (birth defects of the heart) in the kids of this area (Sulaymaniyah/ Kurdish Iraq) likely caused by the many chemical attacks carried out against this population, as well as poor infrastructure and nutrition (exacerbated by UN Sanctions). For now, the surgery must be performed out of the country in Istanbul, Turkey. The last week of the summer we'll be traveling from Sulaymaniyah to Istanbul with a group of kids, taking them to a Johns Hopkins affiliated hospital for surgery, and helping with post-op care and travel back to Iraq.
I'm working as an intern for a non-profit called the Preemptive Love Coalition. You can read all about the organization on their website: preemptivelove.org.
I'll also be conducting some anthroplogical research while I'm over there, mainly dealing with how the communities perceive CHD and the lack of access to its treatment. My research is under the guidance of a medical anthropology professor at my university, and I'll hopefully be able to present it not only at anthropological and student research conferences, but also to medical establishments to try to gain support for PLC's mission in Iraq.
If you want to follow along with my work, hear stories and see images from Iraq and Istanbul, and share in some of my experiences then you can check out my online journal. I have a friend who will also be in the middle east this summer, and he will be "guest posting" from Turkey and later Palestine.
Here's the journal -> http://alexpsjournal.blogspot.com/