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    Dilshad Othman

June 24, 2014

Meet the Rotary Peace Fellows – Dilshad Othman

Meet, Dilshad Othman, our next Rotary Peace Fellow from Class 12.  He is based at The Rotary Peace Center which is anchored by the Joint Duke University/University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Program.   The Duke/UNC-CH joint program gives Peace Fellows the option to apply to either institution.  Dilshad is a medical doctor and, as a Peace Fellow, is associated with the Gillings School of Global Public Health at UNC, specifically in the Department of Maternal and Child Health.

Dilshad graduated from The College of Medicine at Al Mustanserya University in Baghdad in 2000 and finished his studies at Sulaimania University College of Medicine in 2007 in Medical Microbiology. He worked as manager of the Khanaqin Primary Health District in the Iraqi Ministry of Health from 2003 until 2008, after which he was appointed as Khanaqin’s General Hospital Manager by the Iraqi Ministry of Health.

In 2008, Dilshad was sponsored as a Peace Fellow by Rotary District 7710 and the Cary-Kildaire Rotary Club to attend the Rotary Peace and Conflict Resolution program at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand and graduated from that program in 2009.  Following graduation he was hired by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) as a medical doctor.  At ICRC he has been involved in the development and implementation of two major medical training projects in Iraq:

First, “Strengthening the Emergency Services in Iraq,” the main goals of which are to train and educate the local community what to do in case of emergency, displacement, and/or epidemic threats.  The second program, “Supporting Selected Primary Health Care Centers in Iraq,” focuses on improving the quality of care and equality of care, ensuring that women and children have the same access to curative and preventive health care as men.

We asked each Peace Fellow two interview questions.  Here are Dilshad’s answers:

1.  What is your opinion about the prospects of an end to armed conflict in the next 50 years?

“Most people living nowadays in armed conflict zones believe that in the coming 50 years violence will decrease and more people will be engaged in creating peace and dialogue in all levels. Hopefully, this will happen even earlier since more people are aware about the destructive impacts of armed conflicts.  The Rotary International Foundation, Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation, and other peace foundations and organizations will make peace possible and happen through their wide effective activities toward achieving that goal.”

2.  What do you believe are the three most important contributing factors to fostering peace within and among nations?

“I believe that looking for and highlighting similarities always bring people and nations together and create a positive, sustainable, peaceful environment. The other factor will be education. I believe strongly that more education and literacy bring peace in the future for our world. Social and economic equality and good governance are other factors which together are very effective in fostering peace.”

Thank you, Dilshad, for sharing how you have built a life of service.  It is very important for people around the world who have not lived through tremendous upheaval in their countries to understand that there are courageous, determined people like you “arming” themselves with knowledge and skills for only humanitarian reasons.  Your experience also sheds much needed light on the efforts of people within war-torn countries who continue to actively work toward change that brings equality to all citizens, irrespective of gender, age, educational, or economic status.   Please keep us informed about what you observe in your studies and work as a Peace Fellow.  The whole arena of global health is of great importance and interest to us all.  We appreciate your gift of personifying how to live a life that, when joined with others who follow your example, will get us to sustainable global peace.

Your comments are welcome.  Send them directly to our Managing Editor at:  rebecca.popham@tutufoundationusa.org, or use the “Post a Comment” box below if you prefer.