Dr. Abdullah Abdullah
By Khaama Press - Sun Sep 26 2010, 9:49 am
In the name of God, most Gracious, most Compassionate,
Fifty years ago I was born in the second district of Karte Parwan in Kabul in the same house where I reside today. Both of my parents were born in Kabul, but my father’s family comes from Kandahar and my mother’s from the Panjshir Valley. I have seven sisters and one brother.
When I was two years old, my father, a high-profile civil servant, was transferred to Kandahar. I started elementary education in Kandahar. When my father was transferred back to Kabul, I finished my elementary schooling in Karte Parwan. I completed my intermediate and high school education at the prestigious Naderia High School. After taking the college admission test I was accepted into the Kabul Medical University.
I come from a family in which education is most valued. My parents did everything that they could in support of me pursuing my higher education. My late father served Afghanistan for more than forty years, ranging from various administrative capacities to serving in the last Senate, during the period of King Zahir Shah. He retired in 1972 after the coup d’état staged by President Daoud.
My father was well known for his honesty and dedication in serving his country. Throughout my life, I’ve always followed his example.
From college until migration
I lived in Kabul for all seven years of my medical education. My initial interest for higher education was for the study of Dari literature, however with the encouragement of my family and friends I chose to study medicine. Enthusiastically, I completed my degree. During high school and college, when I wasn’t devoting my time to my studies, I had a special interest in sports. I preferred basketball and ping-pong, but would partake in other sports at times whenever possible.
It was during my college years that the April 1978 coup d’état took place and the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. At first, I was not a member or affiliated to any political party. My only political involvement was participating in student rallies or demonstrations. Gradually, however, I began to spend a lot of time thinking about what was happening to my country under Soviet occupation. I was one among three hundred twenty medical students attending college, but by the time we graduated, because of the stresses of the political and military situation, there were only one hundred sixty five of us left. Among those who did not graduate, some were killed, many fled the country, and others chose to join the Freedom Fighters.
Sometimes I would consult with my friends and classmates as to whether we should continue our education or join the Freedom Fighter Front. Some of my friends had no choice but to flee the country, however I continued on with my education and finally graduated in 1983. After graduation I spent a few months working at the Noor Hospital completing my post graduate training. I completed my post graduate training in surgery and subsequently chose ophthalmology as my field of practice. After a few months of working at the Noor Hospital, I decided to leave Afghanistan and migrated to Pakistan. My family remained in Kabul. In Pakistan I worked in an eye hospital for more than a year, primarily serving the Afghan refugees