Dr. Salman Zarka

“If every Syrian child, woman, and man return to their homeland after having received medical attention in Israel, treasuring in their hearts the human encounter which saved their lives, a memory of an embrace from people who they used to consider enemies and who turned out to be human at the most critical time, and if every Syrian who leaves us lets his experience flourish—we may then be able to dream about a better future, for our children and for theirs.”

These are the reasons of the architect and builder of the Israeli border field hospital providing medical services to Syrians wounded in the civil war in their country. 

“The first thing,” said Dr. Salman Zarka, “is to be a human. The second thing is to be a physician. The third thing are religious principles. It is written in different Jewish books, and in the Torah, that we have to save lives. And so it is also written in the books of other religions. In the Druze religion, in my religion, it is ordered that you have to save lives, so you would have to provide medical support.”

“The other thing that is very unique to the Jewish people is the imperative of the Holocaust, an understanding of what it means to be helpless.” 

Reuven Rivlin in a meeting with the staff of the Ziv Medical Center in Safed, December 2017

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin meeting with Ziv Medical Center's staff in Safed, receiving the book "Complicated War Trauma and Care of the Wounded", which deals with the medical and humanitarian assistance granted to the Syrian refugees at the Ziv Medical Center (January 2018). In the photo from right to left: Director of the orthopedic department, Prof. Alexander Lerner, Israeli President Rivlin, and Director of Ziv Medical Center in Safed Dr. Salman Zarka.

Dr. Salman Zarka

Dr. Salman Zarka

Since 2014 he has been the Director General, Ziv Medical Center, and Faculty of Medicine in the Galilee, Bar-Ilan University, in Safed, Israel. Israel’s northernmost hospital, under his leadership, has provided urgent and critical life-saving medical treatment to hundreds of Syrian women, children and men, casualties of one of the cruelest civil war of this century. A man that has served 25 years in the IDF, before retiring as a Colonel, Dr. Salman Zarka believes that medicine can change people and feels privileged to have helped those he had always known as his enemy. He deserves the Nobel Peace Prize!

The Humanitarians