Tributes paid to Lebanese doctor who died from COVID-19 in Rome

Dr. Mohammad Ali Zaraket 62, had worked in Rome as a general practitioner for almost 40 years. (Supplied)
Dr. Mohammad Ali Zaraket 62, had worked in Rome as a general practitioner for almost 40 years. (Supplied)
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Updated 04 December 2020

Tributes paid to Lebanese doctor who died from COVID-19 in Rome

Dr. Mohammad Ali Zaraket 62, had worked in Rome as a general practitioner for almost 40 years. (Supplied)

ROME: Media and colleagues have been paying tribute to Dr. Mohammad Ali Zaraket, who became the first doctor of Lebanese origin to die in Italy from the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) on Thursday. He is one of 225 doctors who have died from the disease in the country since February.

Zaraket, 62, had worked in Rome as a general practitioner for almost 40 years. He was the general secretary of the Lebanese Doctors Association in Italy and a popular figure in the Italian capital’s Lebanese community. He is survived by his wife and three children.

“Medicine was his passion. It was much more than a job to him. He saw it as his mission to help people and improve their lives,” Jihad Jabbour, a Lebanese doctor who works at Rome’s Policlinico Umberto I hospital, told Arab News.

“He was very active and engaged in trying to intensify medical cooperation between Italy and the Arab countries, and he organized many events for that purpose,” Jabbour added.

An obituary published in Italian daily La Repubblica said: “His commitment to medicine and to his patients was so strong during the COVID 19 pandemic that, on September 15, 2020, he received official recognition from the Italian Prime Minister’s office ‘for his outstanding work as a representative of Lebanese doctors in Italy and for promoting intercultural and religious dialogue.’”

Mayor of Rome Virginia Raggi expressed her condolences to Zaraket’s family and to the Lebanese community in Rome. “He was an example of integration and altruism. Rome will remember his engagement as a doctor and as an active citizen in our community, especially in this very tough time”, she said in a statement.

The Islamic association Imam Mahdi described Zaraket in a statement as “a man full of humility and kindness who was always ready to help others.”

“Doctor Zaraket was a pillar of our community and an example of solidarity and real altruism. His memory will live in each of us who does his duty every day in a humble way, without feeling like a hero,” Michele De Nittis from the Rome Primary Care Unit, where Zaraket worked, told Arab News. “We will not forget his work or his example.”


150 migrants storm border with Spain’s Melilla enclave

150 migrants storm border with Spain’s Melilla enclave
Updated 19 January 2021

150 migrants storm border with Spain’s Melilla enclave

150 migrants storm border with Spain’s Melilla enclave
  • 90 migrants managing to cross from Morocco into Melilla at a point where the border fence crosses the Nano river
  • Melilla and Ceuta, another Spanish territory in North Africa, have the European Union’s only land borders with Africa

MADRID: Around 150 migrants stormed the border fence separating the Spanish enclave Melilla from Morocco early on Tuesday with nearly 90 managing to cross, officials said.
The incident took place just before dawn where the fence crosses the Nano river, a spokesman for the Spanish government’s local delegation said, indicating “87 of them” got across despite efforts to stop them by the Moroccan and Spanish security forces.
It was the biggest mass attempt to cross the border fence since August 20 when some 300 people stormed the fence, although only around 30 managed to get across and one died during the attempt.
During Tuesday’s incident, nine migrants were hurt while trying to get into the tiny Spanish territory, while the rest were being registered at the migrant reception center, he said.
Interior ministry figures show that in the first two weeks of the year, 60 migrants managed to illegally cross the fence into Melilla while another 70 managed to cross into Ceuta, Spain’s other North African enclave.
Melilla and Ceuta, another Spanish territory in North Africa, have the European Union’s only land borders with Africa.
They are favored entry points for African migrants seeking a better life in Europe, who get there by either climbing over the border fence or by swimming along the coast.
The border crossings between Morocco and both enclaves have been closed since the start of the pandemic last March.