Tributes pour in to young Royal Free doctor Isa Abdur Rahman killed in Syria bomb blast
PUBLISHED: 08:30 30 May 2013 | UPDATED: 12:15 30 May 2013
Tributes have been pouring in to a young Royal Free Hospital doctor killed in a bomb attack while volunteering in Syria.
Dr Isa Abdur Rahman died after the makeshift hospital he was working in was shelled during fighting in the north western city of Idlib last week.
The married 26-year-old was a first year doctor at the Royal Free from 2011 to 2012, before taking a year out of training to undertake relief work for Syrian refugees.
Dr Rahman’s supervisor at the hospital, Dr Philip Lodge, said: “Isa wanted to work abroad and use his expertise to help local communities.
“He was a young, talented and determined doctor with a clear vision for his career and a bright future ahead of him.
“Everyone I know here who worked with him recognised his talent and spoke of him in glowing terms. Our thoughts are with Dr Rahman’s family and loved ones at this sad time.”
Dr Rahman, who lived in Willesden, was volunteering for the non-political British charity Hand in Hand for Syria (HIHS), established in 2011 at the start of the uprising.
Syria remains locked in a bloody civil war between forces loyal to Bashar al-Assad’s regime and rebels seeking to oust him.
Dr Rahman’s aunt, Farah Maria-Rahman, paid tribute to her nephew on a blog which appeared on the Huffington Post website.
“My nephew was trying to do what he knew best to help out in a hard situation a very, very long way away from home,” said his aunt, a teacher and writer.
“My nephew was an amazing young man. It’s so hard to lose someone so young. But I’m proud of him.”
Since Dr Rahman’s death, a Just Giving page has been set up to raise money to build a new field hospital in his honour. So far, £43,000 has been collected from donations.
A family friend, who had known Dr Rahman for about 10 years, said he was “loved by everyone” and “chose others over himself”.
The friend, who gave his first name as Razan, said: “He had a vision. Despite him having the chance to lead a good life as a doctor in the UK, he chose others over himself.
“He was selfless and I think that’s something most humans these days lack. He used his education, health and strength to help others. He was loved by everyone in Syria.”
He said Dr Rahman, who studied at Imperial College London, had also wanted to start a medical project for rape victims, who he came across a lot in the north of Syria, and start a medical project in the city of Homs.
News of Dr Rahman’s death came after European Union foreign ministers announced on Tuesday (May 28) that they would lift an embargo on supplying arms to Syrian opposition rebel forces.