letters to the editor
Please submit letters for the Editor’s consideration within three weeks from Gaza spent 18 months training in
of receipt of the Journal. Letters should ideally be limited to 350 words, paediatric oncology.
and sent by email to: Clinicalmedicine@rcplondon.ac.uk One story of particular poignancy was
that of Dr Izzeldin Abuelaish, a Gazan
paediatrician, three of whose children were
tragically killed in the conflict when a
bomb fell on his home. Another daughter
siasm and of their appreciation of the and his niece who were badly injured were
The Daniel Turnberg Middle East
opportunity provided by the scheme. airlifted out and treated in the intensive
Travel Fellowship Scheme:
Without exception they have developed care unit at Safra Children’s Hospital.
cooperation in place of conflict
programmes for continued collaborative Fortunately they each recovered and
There are many reasons to be gloomy about research on their return home. returned home. In a remarkable story of
the continuing conflicts in the Middle East. Their individual stories are uplifting. An reconciliation, Dr Abuelaish placed a
The media are replete with reports of terror Egyptian doctor had never been out of memorial plaque to his three children,
and destruction and continue to focuse on her home country before and was over- together with a photograph of them, in the
the animosity between Arab nations and whelmed by her reception. She has now set hallway of Safra Hospital to which he con-
Israel with little regard paid to the many up a joint project with her host department tinues to refer patients.
positive but unreported interactions at the in London. A Palestinian researcher has There are many such interactions but
Israeli and Palestinian grassroots. In forged several links with researchers in they remain largely unpublicised, in part at
assessing the impact of the Daniel Turnberg London and an Israeli now has a strong least because of the fear that Hamas will
Fellowship Scheme we have been encour- joint project with his host department and clamp down on them. But these incidents
aged by the many heartening stories of is working on a proposal with a Jordanian cast a different and more hopeful light on
collaboration and reconciliation. researcher he met here. A fellow at the the complex issues surrounding the Middle
The fund was set up in the name of our Weizmann Institute in Israel has planned a East and they have made us even more
late son who was killed in a plane crash in number of joint research activities with determined to continue with our scheme.
Malawi in June 2007. The scheme reflects his neuroscientists in Edinburgh. New friend- The panel for the next round was set up
keen interests in research – he was a lecturer ships have been fostered and, for example, by the Academy of Medical Sciences (for
in renal medicine – and in promoting better some supervising UK hosts are now plan- further details and an application form:
relations between the Middle East, Israel ning visits to the Middle East and Israel, www.acmedsci.ac.uk/p175.html) and will
and the UK. It aims to encourage interac- countries where they have not previously meet to assess the applications in March
tions between the UK and Israel and its Arab been. Such outcomes can only increase 2010. We are hopeful that we will be able to
neighbours in the medical sciences with the understanding and respect. support rather more than 20 fellows in
longer-term goal of increasing mutual We met some of our fellows in their 2010. We hope that schemes such as ours,
understanding and tolerance (Clin Med own institutions when we visited Israel that promote collaboration, will play a role
August 2009 p 304). recently to learn more about their work. in contributing to a greater understanding
After thorough scientific review, 20 fellows Two paediatric hospitals were particularly and mutual respect.
were selected to spend up to four weeks in