Every night throughout Hanukkah, United Hatzalah will be awarding one highly dedicated volunteer with the annual Korenvaes Miracle Award. Tonight’s recipient, on the eighth night of Hanukkah, is Dr. Yasser Alsheich from Tel Sheva.
Yasser Alsheich is a 40-year-old Bedouin doctor from the town of Tel Sheva. He currently practices medicine in Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon and has been doing so for the past ten years. He is married with three children. He began volunteering with United Hatzalah after hearing about the organization from a number of different places including a good friend from Tel Sheva.
“When my friend told me about the organization, I looked into it and fell in love with it,” Alsheich said. “The thing that inspires me most about the organization is that everyone treats one another like family. It doesn’t matter where you are from or what your religion or background is, everyone gets along and treats one another with respect. I have worked with a lot of organizations and even many organizations where people treat one another amicably and with respect, but it isn’t the same level as what happens here. People invite one another to their homes, we meet each other’s families, and we become close to one another, like a family in or itself. There is something unique here that doesn’t exist in other places or organizations.”
Alsheich said that the camaraderie between the volunteers in the organization filters down to the patients and improves the level of care for the patients. “The sense of togetherness that United Hatzalah has, gets transferred to the patient as well. I see it in the field all the time when Jews treat Arabs and vice versa, it doesn’t matter who the patient is, the caregivers treat them like family because at the end of the day we are all people. A person works harder to save their family than they would when saving a strange. However, when I met United Hatzalah volunteers in the field before I joined the organization I noticed that this wasn’t true, that they work just as hard to save a stranger’s life as they would to save their own family. That is something that I wanted to be a part of, and now I am and I follow the same ethos.”
Alsheich said that he began his career in medicine after watching his uncle who was a doctor and that people used to come to his house before there was a proper medical clinic in the town.
“I loved watching my uncle work and help people. The way he cared for them was truly something special and it left me with the feeling that this is what I wanted to do with my life. Soon after, when I was 17, my younger brother choked while he was eating something in our kitchen and I, having learned basic CPR in school, rushed over and saved him. Even before the ambulance arrived and even before my uncle arrived, I was the one who saved my brother.That incident sealed my decision. I graduated from High School and I flew to Romania to study medicine. I studied there for seven years and I speak Romanian better than I speak Hebrew, and then I came back and began working in Barzilai.”
Alsheich added that he sees the main principle of his uncle personified in the work done by the volunteers of United Hatzalah. “My uncle was someone who always gave of himself to his family, to his neighbors, and even to complete strangers. That is what I see in United Hatzalah. Here are a group of people who aren’t looking to see what they can get out of this world, they are looking for opportunities to see what they can give to others. That is the spirit of the volunteer first responders who make up United Hatzalah. It is why I love being a part of this family, the family of giving.”
Dr. Alsheich has been selected as the 8th recipient of the Korenvaes Miracle Award this Hanukkah. We will be posting other recipients nightly. To send Dr. Alsheich a Hanukkah card or to make a donation in his honor that will help save lives in Israel throughout the next year, please click here.