By October 26, 2012 0 Comments

See No Evil

This is a true story and all the parties in this story are related to my family in friendship and business.

A member of staff at my father’s company has a daughter who was suffering from a defective retina disorder that was deteriorating and seriously impairing her vision.  At thirteen her vision had become so appalling that she had to hold reading material no more than a couple of inches from her face.  Her quality of life, well being and livelihood were seriously affected and she slowly resigned herself to the fact that she was an invalid.

Her father was naturally depressed.  There was no help for his daughter, no doctor could offer any insight into her case.  A treatment was attempted and it made matters worse.  Right before his eyes he watched his daughter slowly losing her sight, he knew that eventually she would become blind.  He felt responsible and resented his past as a Christian Lebanese Forces fighter and artillery captain.   During the civil war he was an active fighter, courageous and aggressive by nature.  On the exterior he appears calm but in combat he was ruthless.  His archenemy being the Palestinians.  He fought long and bloody battles against them.  This he feared and believed was the reason for his daughter’s downfall.

A few years ago his daughter celebrated her sixteenth birthday, almost blind, she had to be assisted with basic functions.  I watched him ‘deteriorate’ with sorrow, he ate less, smoked more and became very irritable.  My father had made a new friend, an Armenian doctor who had studied in Russia so my father asked the doctor to investigate and find out if there was any hope for the poor girl in Russia.  The doctor obliged by sending her file to a top ophthalmic clinic in Moscow and after a few weeks of back and forth communications and tests, the clinic concluded that they may very well be able to ‘cure’ her with a very complex surgery and they stated their costs for the treatment.

Her family, especially her father were beside themselves; the rays of light were shining down on them again.  The biggest challenge that presented itself was the cost of the treatment and its related expenses.  The patient needed to be accompanied by the doctor and her father.  They needed money to pay towards the hotel, food, transport, surgery, medical bills, etc…  Modest calculations indicated that they needed at least $40,000 – there was no way that her father could afford it.  Slowly the excitement and hope fizzled away and once again the father found himself helpless and frustrated.  My father donated an amount towards the treatment and his staff gracefully refused further help from my father because he had received a lot of help from him over the years.   My father set about trying to find another source and that is when it occurred to him to contact Mr. M, his friend who was well to do and charitable in nature, it was my father’s intention to ask him to help with part of the amount required.

My father described the situation to Mr. M who is a Palestinian and a Muslim by religion.  Mr. M immediately offered to help the girl by donating the full amount on the condition of anonymity.   My father was delighted and could hardly believe it, he celebrated with a tall glass of whiskey and proudly repeated how he admired his best friend Mr. M for being the human that he is.

“Son, it is simply unbelievable because Mr. M knows full well that the money is going to help a Christian Maronite girl who’s father was an active Lebanese Forces fighter who fought against his own people… unbelievable!”

True to his word, Mr. M provided the money in one lump sum and in more than a couple of days.  The doctor made the necessary arrangements and all three, the doctor, the father and his daughter flew to Moscow for her treatment.

A few weeks later they returned to Lebanon – the girl’s operation was successful, she could see again.  She needed time to heal completely and adjust but at least she walked unassisted, read, wrote, watched television and functioned as a normal girl of her age.   Her father and mother visited us in our home accompanied by their daughter and for the duration of their visit, the parents could hardly stop smiling.  I saw them wipe tears of joy and relief a few times – their daughter was healed.

My father’s staff is a very intelligent man and I am sure deep down he knows or at least he suspects where the money for the treatment of his daughter’s eyes had come from.  Whichever way he looks at it, he will find it hard to grasp that his own enemy a Palestinian and a Muslim had actually donated the money anonymously and unconditionally.

Interesting that it took a Muslim to teach a Christian what Jesus preached about loving the enemy; the true meaning of love and compassion.

I would like to think that my father’s staff will continue to appreciate this charitable act for the rest of his life and also consider it as an act of reconciliation so that he can somehow liberate himself from his evil past and embrace the light of forgiveness.

I too learnt a great deal:

I learnt that even though we humans are never born with wings,  some of us are no lesser than angels…

When we unite we are light…

Garo Dedeyan
26 October, 2012
London, UK

Dear readers:  Please do not reveal any identities in your commenting, thank you

About the Author:

Post a Comment