Friday, July 26, 2002

During the last few months that I lived in Baltimore, I wrote user training materials for a group of doctors who had developed a software package for use by intensive care specialists. The doctors were all young, dynamic guys, many of them internationals having come to the States specifically to work on the venture (which is a GREAT concept, and I hope it really takes off).

One of the docs, who I'll call "GT," and I became frequent lunch buddies and eventually great friends and confidantes. GT was from Tehran, had studied at Georgetown, was a handsome, dry-witted, softspoken widower with two young children still living in Tehran. He was hoping to eventually become a U.S. citizen and bring his family here. He loved being here. He loved the people, the freedom, the diversity, the movies, the opportunities, the fact that he could openly be with a female friend without fear of being "detained." Most of all, he loved being what he referred to as a "healer" -- much more important than simply being a physician.

GT went home to Tehran on September 1, 2001, for a visit. He can't get a visa to come back here. We exchanged a few phone calls, letters, and emails over the next few months, and when he performed his umra later in the fall, he sent me a silver ring from Mecca. A few months ago though, he wrote me a long letter to tell me that this would probably be the last time I'd hear from him for a while. He felt that his friendship with me was attracting attention that gave him concern. He would be volunteering with Doctors Without Borders but I don't know where -- I suspect the Iran-Afghan border refugee camps.

I'd like to think that GT had a part to play in this movement, because these are sentiments that he expressed to me, many times.

God bless you, my friend, wherever you are.

[Link via who else.]


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