Terrorism, fanaticism, extremism, and radicalism: these are the words Muslims are linked within the western world most of the times. The rise of Islamophobia, due to media’s negative portrayal of Islam and Muslims in a way that overshadows the 99.99% of goodness with 0.01% of negativity, has done no good for the plight of normal and peace loving, majority Muslims in the western world.
But among the boulders of negative news about Muslims, there exists some surprising positivity hidden from the eyes of many. This story is about an angelic clinic in the state of California in the USA.
Al-Shifa Clinic in California, USA is a charity organization being run by Muslims. The clinic offers free treatment to Americans who are needful or who are not covered by health insurance.
The clinic originated almost two decades ago in 1998 by a group of Muslim doctors when they came together to form the clinic. In 2000, the clinic became a reality after local leaders in San Bernardino county were taken into the loop and has been providing free treatment to California residents ever since. ‘Shifa’ the Arabic word for ‘cure’ has become a ray of hope for many members of the community living in the modest neighborhood the clinic operates in.
While talking about the clinic, a state senator Bill Emerson says that there is a huge access to care problem in California, especially the under-served areas. He further states that, “Al-Shifa Clinic offers a great opportunity to provide healthcare and dental-care for numerous individuals who can’t otherwise seek out that care…”
So how does the clinic work?
The clinical operations become possible with the help of a group of 35 volunteer doctors who provide free services in order to help the needy. These doctors who do other jobs donate one day of their week to the clinic with the intention of giving back to the community.
Al-Shifa clinic is providing free healthcare to Californians, especially those in need in the neighborhood it operates in. Most of its patients are from the Latino community. As per its official website the clinic’s core volunteer team consists of 20 physicians and 8 dentists: all of them volunteers.
Social media has been abuzz with stories about the said clinic and many have posted videos about it. Here is one from a major news site Mic. Watch its short and detailed report here:
The above video has become viral with millions of viewers and there are many commentators sharing their experiences with Muslim healthcare professionals. Most of them have nothing but praises.
You can watch further interviews of patients, volunteers and other stakeholders in the official video of the clinic below:
The Al-Shifa Clinic in the USA is an example for many Muslims in the western world trying to eradicate Islamophobia. Everything is achievable – One step at a time. If you are willing, you can donate to the clinic on http://www.alshifafreeclinic.org/.