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 Culture 14

Health care in Turabdin

As mentioned in culture 7 (Lesson 7.3), in the villages of Turabdin there were no modern doctors practicing the western medical treatment methods. Local traditional healers called ḥakime (sg. ḥakimo ‘wise man’) would offer their services to the villagers. Some of these medical practitioners, ḥakime, were famous in the whole region. Mainly they would treat fractured bones, bites of snakes, stings of scorpions, and skin diseases. While some of these services were helpful, in some cases the patient could get worse, because of existing myths in this field of natural traditional healers. In the event of more serious illnesses, people had to travel to the neighbouring cities like Mёḏyaḏ (Midyat) and Gziro (Cizre) for a general practitioner or to Omid (Diyarbakir) and Marde (Mardin) for more serious treatments and hospitalisation.

In the Middle East, outside Turabdin, Syriacs have been introduced to a completely new system of medical care and many Syriacs choose to study Medicine.

A proverb in Surayt says: U kayiwo bi qamayto hiye u ḥakimo d ruḥe yo ‘A sick person is in the first place his own doctor.’