Day 18 of "My 365 Days of Photography" : Habibe

As background to this story, there are a couple of things I need to explain.

Nevzat & Magbule have been our friends since a few months after we moved to Macedonia in January 1998.  My language tutor (Magbule's sister who now lives in New York) introduced us to them before we moved to Gostivar in February 1999 - just a few weeks before the
Kosovo War began. 

Nevzat was the public health minister at that time, and was instrumental in getting us access to work in the refugee camps in our area.
Magbule is an OB/GYN in Kamjan (a village outside Tetevo) where they live.

Habibe's mother has had numerous health issues, including heart surgery several years ago, since the time of the war in Bosnia (where she is from).

Two weeks ago, she was in the hospital for surgery to remove tumors from her throat/thyroid, and so Habibe was at the hospital everyday for the next ten days.
There were ten other women in the ward with her mother, and as usual,
Habibe made friends with all of them.

Some of them went home just a day or two after Habibe's mother went into the hospital, but 2 women remained in the ward the whole time her mother was there.

Since their families lived further away - and families are personally responsible for providing food for the patient - everyday Habibe brought these two women hot soup, caj (hot tea), and food that they could eat since they were both in the same situation as her mother.

She took care of them - sponge baths, bringing them bottled water and a glass to
drink from, and even taking their laundry home with her and washing and ironing it herself.

When her mother came home from the hospital, one of the women was still there and due
to be released the next morning.  She was going to her cousin's home in
Tetevo to recuperate - before returning to her own home.

Yesterday, Habibe got a phone call from Magbule.  She was surprised because she had not
talked to Magbule in quite some time - both of them had been so busy with their work.
Magbule called to say "thank you" to Habibe. 
It was Nevzat's family member that Habibe had so lovingly cared for those
ten days. 

Talking about "angels unaware" --
that is exactly what Nevzat's cousin
told him the woman who had cared for her in the
hospital was -- an angel.
I wholeheartedly agree!

Time and time again, I have seen Habibe do this kind of thing for people --
regardless of financial standing, ethnic group or politics --
giving that "cup of cold water"--
totally unaware that she was doing anything extraordinary.

Now you know why Habibe is my role model.

Habibe with her sister, Advije


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