Hamam: The Great Escape Artist

Young Hamam lays on his hospital bed, waiting for his lifesaving heart surgery. He has a big smile and his eyes sparkle.

Hamam is a busy five year-old!

His bright eyes sparkle, and he loves to instigate a game of ‘chase’. He finds the wait before surgery pretty boring, so he spends a lot of time playing digital games—war games when he has a choice.

He wanders the ward like it’s his own neighbourhood, and it’s easy to forget that I’m meeting him because he has a heart problem. 

save lives on the frontlines of war

Young Hamam is wrapped up in a red towel, smiling. He just had a bath before his lifesaving heart surgery.

I watch Hamam shoot virtual guns at virtual enemies. His mother proudly tells me that Hamam’s father is a soldier. He smiles and plays on.

Hamam is no stranger to violence. Before he ever faced the risk of heart surgery, there was the risk of getting past deadly militias to get to the hospital. Travel in Libya is complicated, and residents are always on the look out for safe corridors.

Hamam sits on his hospital bed, wrapped in a sterile gown, and yawning while playing a video game. Waiting for heart surgery is hard work!

They made it—they escaped! 

Now Hamam charms the nurses on the ward and patiently waits for his turn on the operating table. He won’t have to wait long though, because he’s up next!