By Hajar Elkahlaoui
By Hajar Elkahlaoui
Rabat – With hard work and perseverance, anyone can achieve a childhood dream. Jalid Sehouli, the director of the gynecology department at Berlin’s Charité University Hospital, shared his impressive story with Moroccan public.
Born to Moroccan parents, Sehouli’s father worked in a copper factory, while his mother was a cleaning lady in the same hospital where Sehouli works as a department director now.
At 49, Sehouli is now one of the best ovarian cancer doctors in Europe. He has led several hundreds of surgeries and authored over 350 academic articles.
“Each day I spend five to seven hours in the surgery room,” he said in a press report by Moroccan television channel 2M in 2012.
The director has also been a principle investigator in many clinical trials in ovarian cancer, according to healthcare social network Healthpath.
In 2017, the doctor announced in an interview with Febrayer that he is planning to launch a project for cancer patients with Princess Lalla Salma Foundation.
A Long Road
In an interview with Moroccan news outlet Febrayer, Sehouli said that his mother worked in the Berlin hospital for 25 years. After he finished his medicine studies, he took over presidency of the same hospital.
Speaking to the camera in Moroccan Arabic, Sehouli said that “people always ask me how I managed to be the director [at] a hospital with my parents being illiterate.”
Sehouli’s success hasn’t been without sacrifices. He was raised in hard circumstances but held onto his childhood dream: to become a doctor.
In the early 1950, his father Abdellah was 17 when he escaped Morocco to Europe.
“That time Morocco was marked by a confrontational political environment. And my father was an activist. He was threatened with murder and he felt in danger staying in Morocco, so he bought a circus contract from the Tangier Souk and illegally immigrated to Spain,” Sehouli told Febrayer.
Arrived to the train station, looking for clues to where he might head, when all of a sudden he saw a sign for Germany, so he went there.
At that time, Jalid wasn’t born yet. And his father, who worked in copper factory, couldn’t afford to bring his family to Germany. “My mom and my two brothers had to wait seven years before joining my father,” Sehouli said.
After his family came to Germany, Sehouli’s mother was a housewife for a while before starting working at the Charité Hospital, where he was born in April 19, 1968.
Sehouli is very grateful to his parents, especially his mother. “My parents are my biggest motivation. My mom worked so hard so I can get good education. I once broke my leg, and she would carry me so I didn’t miss any classes,” he told Febrayer.
Not Satisfied with Just Medicine
“Writing helps me know deeply about my identity and my roots and what my family and grandparents lived. Therefore, I consider writing a spiritual cure.” Said Professor Sehouli on the Youtube short documentary
“And from Tangier the boats go to somewhere,” Sehouli’s first work about Morocco, was centered around the city where his parents were born. Published in 2016, the novel was presented with great attention at the Leipzig Book Fair.
His second novel, “Marrakech” explores his feelings and thoughts of Morocco’s fabled red city, “one of the most mysterious and fascinating cities in the world.”
“This Moroccan city is becoming a place of reflection about myself and the people who I met – in Marrakech, Berlin and elsewhere,” writes Sehouli in the novel”