Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Arab American Physicians Meet in Palestine

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Arab American Physicians Meet in Palestine

Article excerpt

ARAB AMERICAN PHYSICIANS MEET IN PALESTINE

The National Arab American Medical Association (NAAMA) held its 17th International Medical Convention in Palestine from June 30 to July 7. More than 250 Arab-American physicians and their family members joined Palestinian medical colleagues for medical sessions at the West Bank's Birzeit University, visits to local hospitals and refugee camps, and sightseeing tours.

President Yasser Arafat welcomed the U.S. physicians to his office during the convention's half-day medical session in Gaza City. In a spirited question-and-answer session, NAAMA president Dr. Emil Totonchi and Dr. Jamil Fayez, NAAMA convention chairman, asked President Arafat to stand firm against any outside pressure regarding relinquishing Jerusalem, accepting Israeli settlements, or giving up the right of return for Palestinian refugees in his forthcoming negotiations with Israel.

Al Makassed Hospital in Jerusalem hosted the convention's June 30 opening ceremony. Keynote speaker Faisal Husseini, representing the Palestinian National Authority, acknowledged the significance of the ceremony's site in Jerusalem, the "capital of the host country." Other speakers included Dr. Arafat Hidmi, director of the Makassed Charitable Islamic Society; Dr. Darwish Nazzal, medical association representative and member of the convention's organizing committee; Dr. Albert Aghazerian, director of public relations and history professor at Birzeit University; and Drs. …

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