EXIT 26 onramp off I-478: Carroll Gardens, Red Hook, in Brooklyn NY
Kashif Chaudhry, 37, is a heart rhythm specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Naila Shereen, 34, is a chief internal medicine resident at a hospital in Brooklyn.
They met through charitable doctors' organizations; Kashif has volunteered in Bolivia, implanting pacemakers, while Naila worked in Guatemala. It was love at first sight for the couple, who decided to marry, despite living more than 1,000 miles apart.
They were initially due to wed in London in a lavish multi-day ceremony, and then honeymoon in Dubai and the Maldives. Kashif and Naila canceled their plans in light of the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, they married in a low-key ceremony in New Jersey, and separated less than 12 hours after tying the knot, in order to return to work.
Both are fighting COVID in their hometowns separated by the country they love. America.
America is responsible for separating another doctor from his love. Says Mohamed Khalif, “I love working in healthcare.” But he is very frustrated. Mohamed Khalif has been a doctor for six years. Living now in Seattle Washington, the 30-year-old is ready and willing to join the front line of the coronavirus fight in the United States. But like thousands of healthcare professionals who received their medical degrees abroad, he is simply not allowed.
"They're all sitting at home, and we're bringing retired doctors and retired healthcare providers who are at higher risk of COVID-19 to care for these patients," Khalif said shaking his head. (Mohamed Khalif is on the right below.)
Many immigrant doctors in the US, despite having years of experience, are left on the sidelines of the COVID-19 fight.
FAST FACT: Muslims in Healthcare is hardly unusual. According to the American Medical Association (AMA), more than 10% of American physicians are Muslim, while Muslims make up less than 3% of the total U.S. population. “Thus, its safe to say there is number of Muslim physicians is above average,” says Dr. Salim Aziz, a prominent heart surgeon with offices in Maryland and Washington DC.
Khalif was born in Somalia. His family came to the US as a child. Growing up, he travelled the world with his father and learned the languages of the places he lived - ranging from Somali to Hindi and Mandarin. After graduating from a medical college in China, he worked as a primary care doctor in Somalia. He returned to the US five years ago in hopes of doing the same here.
Despite passing his board exams and having broad experience, he did not land a residency this year, the final and highly competitive step before becoming accredited to practise medicine in the US.
Khalif hopes states will allow foreign medical graduates to work, even if in rudimentary roles. This could range from working as a scribe in emergency rooms to conducting nasal swab tests for COVID-19 to simply cleaning contaminated areas..
As the death toll rises across the USA, Khalif said the most frustrating part is not being able to practice, even after having passed all the necessary exams. He described it as watching his house being attacked while being tied up and left defenseless.
"All of us are just itching to get out there and help our fellow colleagues," he said.
And what about the newly weds, Naila in Brooklyn and Kashif in Iowa?
Although Kashif admits he is worried about his new bride as Nalia continues to work in Brooklyn, the epicenter of the pandemic, he says he is 'even more proud' of her.
#Ramamdan #RamadanMubarak #MuslimsinHealthcare #MuslimDoctors #Allah #MohamedKhalif #Coronavirus #MuslimsworkingthroughRamadan
Macon Offramp. Many Music Stars Exit here.
EXIT of the DAY: Exit 58 in GA I-95s To: Townsend Rd, Eulonia near Townsend, Georgia.
If you drove by this EXIT and had RoadSpoke, you would hear this:
"Up the next Exit many music superstars have driven. This unassuming EXIT was an onramp for success for rock stars like Little Richard, The Allman Brothers, Bill Berry of R.E.M, Otis Redding, and Country Star Jason Aldean. No surprise the Macon sound is a mix of influences and the musicians have no problem mixing with others in the broader industry.
In July 2018, like many Country Stars, Jason Aldean drove up this Exit to his home town, Macon. He had just played a benefit concert to a sold out Atlanta crowd. But Jason is a new breed of country star.
Jason’s songs liberally include rocker licks. On top of that, he rubs shoulders with hip hop stars. In fact, his pal Georgia born rapper Ludacris joined him on stage for a set.
So while Jason sells out stadiums with country and western audiences, he is not afraid to think different. And he draws in a more mixed bag of fans. It’s a mix that allows for diversity and inclusion.
Jason loves to use his celebrity to do performances that are about something bigger than himself. For the man whose hits “Any Old Barstool”, “Tonight Looks Good on You,” and “Fly Over States”, this was the third year he has done a concert benefiting sick kids cared for at the @Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital.
Says Jason: “There are a lot of reasons I love doing what I do, but being able to give back to these kids and their families is definitely really important to me.” Obviously he is moved by having a large raucous family. Even on the road he tries to get home as often as he can to his 4 kids and wife, Britney.
Jason’s roots run deep in Macon. He was raised by his Mom in Macon. He first performed on stage at the Macon VFW Hall when he was 15. But before that, during summer break, he would spend time with his Dad in @Homestead,Florida. Before his father went to work he would instruct Jason where to place his fingers to play chords. Then while his dad was at work, young Jason practiced all day. When his dad got home, they got out their guitars and played together.
Moving home to Mom was no bad thing for Jason though. Jason loves Georgia deeply. In fact except for watching @Bulldogs Football every Saturday you could find Jason in the Georgia woods since he is an avid outdoorsman. He even owns a Hunting Company called Buck Commander.
But guns and concerts created a grand tragedy in Las Vegas Nevada when a mad man began shooting in October 2017. Jason had just begun performing when the shooter began firing into the crowd from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort. 58 people were killed and 851 people were injured.
Until recently, Jason stayed out of the debate that's going on over gun control. Then in a new interview, he reveals there should at least be a more thorough vetting process. After the shooting Jason visited survivors in the hospital. He admits to serious guilt over the fans who got shot. They were present to see him.
He also feels a connection to the survivors from the high school mass murder in @Parkland,Florida. Many of those students have become gun control activists. Says Jason,”Unless anybody has witnessed anything like that, it’s really hard for people to really understand where you’re coming from on that stuff," he reflects. "It’s like the kids from the school in Florida, that shooting. I get it, man. I understand how they are feeling.”
But no doubt, Jason Aldean wishes he did not need to address the raging gun law debate. In fact, he would have been far more comfortable raising donations with rapper friends at that benefit concert to build a kids’ wing in Macon. "
#JasonAldean #Flyovercountry #Georgia #Macon #Parkland #HarvestFestival #Massshootings #GeorgiaBulldogs #BuckCommander