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2 Bullets, 6 Souls — Based on a True Story

**Note: this is based on the story of a 52 year-old Egyptian doctor I met in Beirut**

On a hot summer day, as I was a 22 year-old med student, assisting the attending doctor in the emergency room, as part of my summer internship at a local hospital in Sicily, in 1989, 2 couples came in to do the regular pregnancy check ups.

George, the attending doctor, told me to take the wives in and supervise the tests alongside, Tania, the staff nurse. As the wives went into the testing rooms, the 2 men waited in the hall.

As we were in the next room, conducting and analyzing the tests, out of nowhere, we heard loud voices of 2 motorcycles drifting their way into the parking lot, and in 1 minute, gunshots were fired, followed by frightened screams of the people in the hall. By instinct, we all fill to the ground in the room next door, and as soon as the two motorcycles drove away, we waited for a few seconds, then we rushed to the hall.

As soon as we reached the hall, the whole world froze around me as I saw the 2 husbands laying around with bullets in their chests and their blood all over the floor.

Among the loud screams and cries around me, I suddenly realized that George was screaming at me, ordering me to help him rush them to the closest surgery room. We quickly put them on the emergency beds, checked their pulses, but, we couldn’t sense any, we tried to get the bullets out, stop the bleeding, we tried multiple things in an attempt to save their lives, or what had remained of it. But, after a few attempts, there was nothing to be done. The two buddies were too wounded to make it out alive.

The 2 young husbands died.

Tears filled my eyes, I couldn’t stand what has just happened, I sat on the floor in the surgery room, my head sunk in my hands, trying to understand how could all this happen in minutes. I was too young to understand, I was filled with emotions that I hadn’t felt before, I saw death, crime, and two women who in seconds became widows, and their two unborn kids became orphans. I couldn’t stop thinking about how we were going to tell the poor young wives. How will the 2 widows and their kids survive? Who will take care of them? What will the wives tell their kids when they grow up? Will they start thinking about avenging their fathers?

My colleagues eventually told the wives. I couldn’t be there when they did. I was too weak to see their reaction. The wives took it hard and we decided to keep them at the hospital until we made sure that nothing happened to them or the babies. In 2 days, they were out, as their families and friends were beside them all that time, 24 hours a day.

To go back in time, to the time of my arrival from Egypt to Sicily, I was warned that mafias were at war. But, as long as I was not part of any mafia, I was safe, so I didn’t worry much. I thought nothing could happen to me. But, after that incident, I felt I was a victim too. These were my patients, 2 of them died in my hands, and I couldn’t do anything to save them, and the other 4 (moms and their babies) were also under threat due to the severe shock, which they had to live with, for the rest of their lives. And I started asking myself: is this normal in the life of a doctor?

I went home, changed my clothes, showered and sat in my bed, wondering, how could these people commit such horrible crimes and still go to church each Sunday and wear golden crosses on their necks. Why does this “family pride” come as the top priority in their lives, not God whom they supposedly worship? That’s the question I had to carry back home and think about for a year. Until one day, I came across this verse from the Bible and it changed my life forever:

“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” Matt 7:21

“«لَيْسَ كُلُّ مَنْ يَقُولُ لِي: يَا رَبُّ، يَا رَبُّ! يَدْخُلُ مَلَكُوتَ السَّمَاوَاتِ. بَلِ الَّذِي يَفْعَلُ إِرَادَةَ أَبِي الَّذِي فِي السَّمَاوَاتِ.” (مت 7: 21)



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