Hyat Alawri is 76 and her husband Fouad is 80. Fouad is a cancer patient in the Elder Care wing of Augusta Victoria Hospital in East Jerusalem. The wing is otherwise known as the “Canadian” wing for the funding it received from Canadian donors.
When I began to interview Mrs. Alawri, one of the hospital staff members stepped in to translate but she protested strongly: “I can speak English!” She really did!
Mrs. Alawri gave great testimony to the level of care her husband receives. She would be unable to care for him at home herself. Both her sons are working and it would be impossible for her to move him and provide basic daily care.
Fouad had been in an Israeli hospital, but the level of care was not up to the standard of Augusta Victoria Hospital in the attention paid to patients. It also cost Mrs. Alawri a great deal extra to visit him each day.
She also had a strong message for Canada. “We have a great need for the new Elder Care Pavilion. There are many more like my husband who need this kind of care but cannot get it.”
Mohammad Abu Asab and his sister Tahani had exactly the same to say about the care their father has been receiving since moving to Augusta Victoria Hospital. They told me that the attention to detail and personal kindness of the staff meant a great deal to them. They both work long hours and would not have time available to give that kind of care.
They were thankful that Canadian Lutherans are concerned about the health of the elderly and that there is a campaign underway to raise funds for a new 148-bed Elder Care Pavilion.
“Thank you, Canada!” That’s how they ended their interview with me.
– Tom Brook, Community Relations Director, Canadian Lutheran World Relief