OUR MAN ON THE GROUND
There is no playbook for COVID-19. No set of rules that allows us to navigate with ease the incredible destruction the pandemic is causing to societies and to individuals. What we do know is that the need is obvious and growing, and someone has to take charge.
For Project Rozana, that person is Dr Raed Mansour (pictured above).
Dr Mansour is a man of impeccable credentials. He is a medical doctor by training, and a humanitarian by inclination. Born in Israel, he is trusted by Palestinians and Israelis and has dedicated his adult life to community service. He is fluent in Arabic, Hebrew and English.
In other words, he is an honest broker. This is precisely what we needed once we heeded the call from Palestine’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dr Riyad al-Maliki for an urgent delivery of life-saving ventilators.
Dr Mansour graduated in medicine from the Haifa Technion. He has an impressive curriculum vitae in business, with a particular focus on social welfare and medical support. But this only tells a small part of a larger story, one that centres on a passion to help people.
In the case of Project Rozana, Raed was tasked with being our point person on the ground in Israel and Palestine.
He is known to the political and bureaucratic elite in both communities. He has a reputation for fairness and for the way he selflessly advocates for people in need. When he talks people listen. He doesn’t always get what he wants, as he is the first to admit, but his words mean something.
In our case, he made sure that the supply chain involving hard-to-get ventilators, associated equipment and training for Palestinian hospitals was seamless. It involved Australia, Israel and the Palestinian Authority. The opportunity for bumps in the road was ever-present, with each one more challenging than the last. Many in his position would have thrown up their hands up in despair. Not Raed. He simply rolled up his sleeves and worked harder.
Today, thanks in large part to Raed’s dogged commitment, Project Rozana has delivered ventilator packages to the Palestinian Authority with lightening speed. As the impact of COVID-19 has worsened, the importance of these ventilators to the preservation of life has increased. Lives have been saved. Relationships have been built. Our standing as a non-political, charitable enterprise that is building bridges through health for the benefit of Israelis and Palestinians has been underwritten.
Prior to his association with us, Raed had set up imaging services, mobile clinics and other professional health services in Kenya, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia. In 2003 he founded the Rampen Center for professional medical services in Haifa and the Western Galilee with the Israeli health benefit organisation, Kupat Holim Clalit. The centres encompassed Jewish and Arab towns and villages, servicing around 14,000 patients a month. The company was sold in 2016.
Rampen began working with Rambam Hospital in Haifa in 2016 on medical tourism and management of medical projects abroad. Then, in 2017, Rampen became Rambam Hospital’s international business partner working on national and international professional development and medical upskilling projects at home and abroad.
With the approval of the Cyprus Ministry of Health, Raed established Sana Unimedical Ltd in Cyprus in 2016 to provide high level Israeli medical and surgical services to patients from Arab countries.
In 2017, with Israeli and Canadian partners, Dr Mansour established m360 in Canada as the sole marketing arm of Rambam Hospital in China.
As a social and political activist, Dr Mansour created a political party in his home village of Usfiya in 2009. The party achieved 47% of the vote in the local elections on a platform promoting equality for the local community and support for the next generation.
Dr Raed Mansour is a member of the Project Rozana Israel management board.