Raed or Rayed Arafat (born May 24, 1964) is a Syrian-born Palestinian refugee and Romanian intensive care physician. An anestheologist, he is the founder and of Mobile Emergency Service for Resuscitation and Extrication (SMURD), as well as its Mureş County coordinator.
Born in Damascus to a Palestinian couple from Nablus, he worked as a volunteer in emergency medicine from the age of 14. He left for Communist Romania in 1981, and initially settled in Piteşti, where he took Romanian language classes, and later enrolled at the University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Cluj-Napoca. Arafat later moved to the Târgu Mureş University of Medicine, where he underwent specialization in Anestheology. He was later a graduate of numerous specialist courses abroad, training with the Paris Fire Brigade, the United States National Guard, and the Norwegian Air Ambulance.
Following the 1989 Revolution, Arafat contemplated leaving for France, but he concentrated instead on creating an emergency service in Târgu Mureş (which he originally financed with personal funds). In 1991, he created SMURD, which began collaborating with the Romanian firefighters service and the Fire service of Scotland, working for it as a volunteer until 1998, when he was naturalized. Between 1990 and 1998 he and his whole staff had to work as volunteers, because the only material help came from the fire fighters and medics from Scotland which included equipment, medicine and supplies. Dr. Raed Arafat had to live from the money that he inherited from his father and his colleagues worked in other places where they received payment and on their spare "dime" they volunteered at SMURD. The SMURD destiny hung by a thin piece of string, but the community understood the need (by experiencing the benefits of better standards) of this best practice Emergency system - and thus they supported Dr. Raed Arafat. In late 2005, his project to have SMURD function as an additional rescue service at a county level was passed into law.
Arafat is a non-practicing Muslim. An instructor in first aid procedures, he coordinated international lectures on the matter in several countries (including Austria, Denmark, Greece, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the Republic of Ireland, the United Kingdom, and the United States). In 2003, he was made a Knight of the National Order of Merit of Romania (and Grand Officer since 2005). Since 2007 Arafat is Secretary of State in the Health Ministry.
Who saves a life, saves a world - the slogan of SMURD
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