Arabic-speaking nurses at the Hadassah Medical Organization have launched a special media campaign to encourage families celebrating Ramadan to do so at home with their nuclear families instead of participating in a shared after-sunset banquet known as iftar, where social distancing would be impossible. They are also reminding families not to postpone coming to the hospital for needed care because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Among the leaders of this campaign is Marah Hasan, 24, an intensive care nurse who is now working in the COVID-19 outbreak intensive care unit. Her family lives in Nazareth and she hasn’t seen them for six weeks because she’s been staying in the hospital dormitory to avoid the risk of infecting them with the coronavirus.
“Our work now is so important that it is a higher priority than anything else,” she says. “We are working with every safety precaution—suits, gloves, and masks. Still, just to make 100 percent sure, I won’t enter our family home. We speak a lot by phone and video.”
Hasan adds, “Since Ramadan began, it’s been even harder to stay away. I have never spent Ramadan away from my family. Nonetheless, I’m sticking to my decision, which is better for everyone, including my patients. It is my professional commitment to the hospital, even though I miss my family terribly.”
A graduate of the Henrietta Szold Hadassah-Hebrew University School of Nursing, Hasan is now studying toward a master’s degree in clinical nursing.