In The Lebanese Jungle, (El Jamal) Nader (Wa) Saab Can Practice “Medicine” … While Laws Look Away

When I graduated from medical school about two years ago, the most important part of the Hyppocratic Oath that we took was to “do no harm.” It’s our moral and legal obligation as doctors to do the most that we can to improve our patients’ health, while making sure that our work does not prove to be at the detriment of their health and, even worse, constitute us taking advantage of them to increase our bottom line.

Farah Kassab was a 32 year old Iraqi-Jordanian mother of two, previously healthy contrary to the rumors trying to defend the surgeon who killed her, who presented to (El Jamal) Nader (Wa) Saab’s clinic, by virtue of the ads he has inundated the country and its airline carrier with, to do a procedure that would help her lose weight. It wouldn’t have been considered an expensive plastic surgery: an injection to her stomach area that would regulate the amount of food she could eat.

Instead, Saab worked at convincing Farah Kassab that she needed to do liposuctions to her entire body in order to reach the figure she wanted, along with an eyebrow lift and a rhinoplasty. Saab took advantage of a woman who sought the care of a physician hoping he had her best interest at heart, and managed to convince her to sign on to a drastic procedure that would cost her north of $50,000 and involve more than 4-5 hours of operational work.

Later on, (El Jamal) Nader (Wa) Saab started operating on Farah. 19 injections later, the 32 year old suffered a rare complication that usually occurs when patients suffer fractures in some of their long bones, but has been shown to exist in liposuctions, especially when they’re as massive volume as hers: a fat embolism.

Essentially, fat tissue that gathers together travels through the patient’s vessels and targets multiple organs, the most dangerous of which is the lungs which could lead to death especially when the patient in question is not in an equipped hospital to deal with such things.

Of course, (El Jamal) Nader (Wa) Saab’s hospital was not equipped to deal with any of the complications that arise of his surgeries. His hospital did not have the facilities needed to monitor patients post operation to manage any arising complications. Farah was transferred back to her room. Soon enough, she became a frigid body whose mother had to frantically shout for the medical crew to come give her attention. Farah had passed away.

Instead of taking the blame, (El Jamal) Nader (Wa) Saab proceeded to do what he does best: bend the system that he’s been bending for years to his advantage. He contacted his friend who works at Notre Dame du Liban hospital and they agreed to transfer Farah to that hospital and make it look like she died there, while issuing official death certificates with that information.

His friend agreed, but their plan did not go as planned when Farah’s family found out what happened with her forcing the other hospital to admit they received the patient already dead, according to Arabic news site Ammon News.

(El Jamal) Nader (Wa) Saab has since fled to Cyprus, and his hospital has been closed down.

If there’s anything for you to wish in life, especially if you live in Lebanon, it’s for a wasta that’s as strong as consistent as the one (El Jamal) Nader (Wa) Saab has enjoyed over the years.

Facing recurrent suspensions from the Lebanese Order of Physicians because of him breaking their law that forbids physicians from advertising for themselves (Al jamal Nader wa Saab), he should have not been legally allowed to practice medicine in the country, especially on such a high level. And yet, he did.

In fact, he faced suspensions from the Lebanese Order of Physicians for the past five years, including one for 6 months, as well as a one month legal ban from pursuing what he calls “medicine.” He was still brought back to the frontline, in the full sight of the Lebanese government, without anyone addressing it, and not even with a higher level of vigilance from concerned authorities.

(El Jamal) Nader (Wa) Saab has been banned by more than one Arab country already from practicing his brand of medicine there, including the U.A.E, K.S.A and Kuwait. The reason for those bans are not perfectly clear, but even then he was still allowed to practice medicine in Lebanon with full liberty.

Farah Kassab isn’t the first victim of (El Jamal) Nader (Wa) Saab, albeit she’s the first one to have died because of his negligence. The patients we’ve seen who have presented to clinics for other reasons with massively botched operations at his hands are recurrent, and have always found deaf ears in any governmental function they pursued. Refer to the insurmountable wasta that allows him to do so. He has already harmed a Jordanian woman before as he operated on one in his hotel room in Amman. He was still allowed to practice here afterwards.

For a hospital doing such high level surgeries, the Lebanese government, especially through the Ministry of Health, should have made sure that the minimum required facilities to monitor patients post-op and to manage any arising complications that occur is there. How could they allow operations with general anesthesia to occur without high level of pre and post op monitoring?

With (El Jamal) Nader (Wa) Saab’s hospital, high profile as it is, they did not. In fact, his center getting the hospital label occurred through a governmental decree without passing through the necessary regulatory bodies, as per LBC, and without it being part of the Lebanese syndicate of hospitals which would have oversight over regulation.

Of course, his hospital is not the only lacking one in the country, but his hospital is not one that exists in the middle of nowhere and whose shortage in facilities is because our government doesn’t have the capacity to provide them. A physician such as him was allowed to operate a plastic surgery hospital without the minimum requirements to operate it in in the first place in full sight of the law.

How can a hospital based on surgical procedures not have any post-op monitoring? How is this severe lack of oversight even allowed? Or is our government only capable of banning movies? With no decent hospital, no legal basis to work here, (El Jamal) Nader (Wa) Saab still did surgeries. Why?

How many more of these horrible stories are we supposed to hear, of physicians who give all of us a bad name because they are allowed to practice by a government who doesn’t bother to check and doesn’t listen to the many victims they’ve left in their path over the years?

Today, this 32 year old mother of a four year old girl and a one year old boy exists no more not only because of (El Jamal) Nader (Wa) Saab, but because the Lebanese government in this jungle they call a country has allowed such a creature to not only exist, but to thrive.

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Arabs Should Look In The Mirror Before Criticizing Trump’s Travel Ban


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Over the past few days, I watched Americans old and young protest against their president’s travel ban. It was a sight to behold – those people who were taught all their lives to fear Arabs, Muslims and to have all kinds of negative connotations with them were standing up for human decency.

The protests haven’t been exclusive to the United States. London and other European cities have had their own share, culminating in an fiery discussion between British PMs about Trump and his policies.

Meanwhile in the Arab world, crickets.

Not a single Arab country had anything to say about the ban. They couldn’t even muster the guts to stand up with their own. I guess that whole “Arabism” theme is only nice when used from Arab Idol and The Voice podiums.

What some countries did was the exact opposite: Kuwait fortified travel bans against 5 Muslim countries, including Syria. The top Emirati diplomat came out in support of the travel ban. And these moves are not without context.

The two Arab countries that have taken the most refugees are Jordan and Lebanon with 1 million and 1.5 million officially registered refugees, respectively. Gulf counties, all of which are not affected by Trump’s ban despite them being the biggest exporters of Islamic terrorism, have taken in a total of zero.

As a side note, that is also the exact same number of Americans that have been killed by terrorist attacks from the countries Trump has banned, while the number is 2500+ from the Gulf countries that he has not banned and who haven’t taken in any refugees.

In fact, Gulf countries have made their visa requirements for other Arabs so disgusting that no one dares speak up against it. I personally have no intention to ever work or live there, so I suppose I can speak up.

KSA has increased its visa price to $1200 for Lebanese nationals in an attempt to curb the number of Lebanese coming in for work, and as a political retaliation at the country not giving it the blowjobs it always needs.

The UAE has made it near impossible to obtain work visas for it as well, and depending on the Emirate you’re applying to work in, you could be rejected entirely despite having proper paperwork. Moreover, the UAE has made it near impossible for Syrians whose families are in the country to get visas to visit; case in point: a Syrian friend of mine who was born and raised there couldn’t go see her family since moving to Lebanon for university studies, but was able to get a 2 year US visa (prior to the ban).

The UAE’s situation doesn’t stop there. They’ve been systematically targeting people for deportation based on their religious affiliation. If the Lebanese state had any decency, they’d publish the list of Shiite nationals who were deported just for being Shiites.

As mentioned above, Kuwait has enforced a visa ban on 5 Muslim countries, including Syria. But this isn’t new for Kuwait. In fact, the country is known for its derision of foreigners coming in, however they are, except if they are Westerners of course.

As a Lebanese, I need a visa to enter every single Arab country even if for a visit except Jordan and Syria. The rest of those countries don’t have a straightforward process either and for some of them, I have to provide the same papers demanded by the US or Schengen visas. And my country isn’t better either. Yes, we have 1.5 million to 2 million refugees, which is probably more than what the country can handle granted, but few are those who are happy with having the refugees here and see them as anything more than a burden in the best of cases or treat them with all the xenophobia they could muster on average.

In fact, it might be hard to believe but Lebanon has strict visa requirements toward certain countries as well. For starters, the criteria we’ve enforced towards accepting Syrians in are hell. Many are turned away at our borders because they can’t tick off the checklist from hell we’ve started to enforce a few years ago. We also enforce inhumane visa requirements on countries we deem as “lesser.” Refer to how Deepa Dermasiri, Malek Maktabi’s New Year Eve gut-wrenching story, couldn’t get a visa to come see her daughter in Lebanon and passed away before she was able to.

What’s worse, the story doesn’t just stop with visas. While Americans protested against a ban that doesn’t even affect most of them, has there been any protests in the places we come from? In the grander scheme of things, has there been protests against the horrendous visa requirements we have for each other to begin with?

Do Lebanese dare to speak up against the rules the Emirati government humiliated them with? Or Saudi visas? Or any Arab visa?

Do we even stand up for minorities in our countries? When was the last time we had protests for some parts of our societies that were oppressed? When did Muslims have mass protests for the persecuted Christians in some Arab countries? When did we have mass protests for women rights? LGBT rights? KSA has Muslim only roads. Just saying.

Yes, those of us who stand up are courageous because it’s so difficult to do so in the first place, but the rest are complacent and satisfied. With what? Religion, money, lack of education… you name it.

Yes, Trump’s ban is all kinds of messed up. But then again, aren’t we all kinds of messed up too? Let’s take a hard look in the mirror at how we treat each other before panicking about how others are treating us, because the fact of the matter is: we treat other Arabs worse than Trump could ever do.

So thanks to the Americans protesting for us. You’re greater than even I thought you were.

Jennifer Lopez, The Lebanese Flag and Silly National Pride

It took Jennifer Lopez holding the Lebanese flag at her Dubai concert for some Lebanese to feel proud about their country’s independence day. They thought it was her way of wishing our country a happy independence day. And they ate it up.

Soon enough, everyone was talking about exactly how genuine a person Jennifer Lopez is and how honorable it was of her and how proud they are as Lebanese that their – our – country was recognized this way. Well, they thought wrong.

A friend of mine who went to the concert in Dubai told me that when she grabbed the Lebanese flag, Jennifer Lopez shouted “Dubai!” which meant that she thought our flag was that of the United Arab Emirates. I’m surprised no one bothered bringing that up till now actually.

It is always customary of artists going for concerts abroad to hold the flag of their hosting country. Jennifer Lopez didn’t bother with the UAE flag. Isn’t that an insult to the country that actually paid enough to bring her to sing on its grounds? And what makes Lebanon so important that she’d rather hold our flag at a concert not even held on our land?

Our sense of fake chauvinism knows no limit it seems.

Lebanon has its flaws. It’s a hopeless place to live in sometimes. It has a lot of shortcomings and I’ll be the first to point them out as I’ve done many times (here’s a sample). But I don’t need Jennifer Lopez holding my country’s flag for me to feel overwhelmingly happy about the country I live in. And frankly I find it sad that some Lebanese need this “validation” coming from a pop star of their country for them to feel some ounce of national pride which so ironically happened to be on a national day that they are too willing to dismiss as absolutely useless.

Jennifer Lopez doesn’t know what Lebanon’s flag looks like. She probably doesn’t even know we exist. The whole flag debacle is all mere irony. Now how’s that treating your silly national pride?

Good Luck Lebanon!

Update: For those asking how to watch the game online, you can use the LBC live stream link. Or this link in case LBC’s bandwidth dies.

Lebanon is playing the UAE today in a very crucial game on its way to qualify to the 2014 World Cup, to be held in Brazil.

After a surprising and very exciting win against South Korea last November, Lebanese football has gained great momentum with people and officials. You only need to look at any Lebanese’s Facebook timeline to see how enthusiastic everyone is about this game.

Lebanon needs to draw or win against UAE to advance to the next and final round where we’ll have to play eight extra games over the course of 2012 and 2013 in order to qualify. For a full analysis regarding the situation, check out this link.

As it stands, the ranking of all four teams in group B is as follows:

Wikipedia has everything

Even if we lose and Kuwait doesn’t win, we’d still advance. I’m not sure if we have an upper hand in any of our games. Don’t call me unpatriotic but I don’t want to be foolishly optimistic.

Either way, the Lebanese national football team has proven itself to be the little team that could. Hopefully its recent streak of victories will get sponsors to notice it more and start to splurge in giving it the proper equipment and training it needs to shine more than it is currently doing.

Good luck Lebanon. Let’s kick some Emirati as*!