CHW Weekly Stories

Canadian Hadassah-WIZO (CHW)

The Art of Healing

Hadassah Medical Organization (HMO) – Mount Scopus campus. After a tiring shift, Dr. Momen Abbasi, 29, is working on his latest creation. It’s a cartoon of Little Red Riding Hood staying home, rather than risking infection or infecting her grandma with coronavirus.

“I use my drawings to spruce up what are often dull medical PowerPoint presentations,” says Abbasi from his home in the Beit Tzafafa, a neighborhood in Jerusalem. “They are also useful when showing children and adults parts of their body before a procedure so they know precisely what’s going to happen.”

From an early age, Abbasi was undecided between his passion for art and desire to become a doctor. At Hadassah Hospital, he’s found a home for both his skills.

Abbasi grew up in Silwan, a hillside Arab neighborhood near Jerusalem’s Old City. His father is the managing director of Al-Quds newspaper and his mother – a chemistry teacher. Abbasi loved playing video games and was fascinated by the animations, as he moved his avatars around colorful digital worlds.

“I never studied animation, but started drawing in sixths grade. Using programs like Photoshop and Flash, I gradually learned how to build characters,” he says.

All three of his older siblings went into medicine or dentistry. Abbasi studied medicine in Jordan, and returned in 2015 to work at HMO, where he is an intern with a focus in nephrology.

“My first corona-related drawing was a hat-tip to the medical teams in Hubei, China – a medical knight, fighting the epidemic.”

As the virus came closer to home, so did Abassi’s drawings – trying to advise the public on best practices.

Once we are over the corona crisis, Abbasi hopes to further develop his artistic work to help HMO.

“I love this hospital. Mount Scopus is like one big family. What I’m considering doing with my artwork down the road is to use it with Hadassah medical students – for example by creating flashcards to make nephrology study a little less dry. I also want to deepen the use of drawings with patients. You can see it helps put them at ease.”

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