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Last Updated: Monday, 13 June 2005, 13:38 GMT 14:38 UK
My Day in Iraq: Plastic surgeon
As part of the BBC News website's One Day in Iraq coverage on 7 June, we heard from people from all walks of life, all over the country.

Here, you can read more from Yasmin, a plastic surgeon in Baghdad, about the pleasures and pain of her work.

I'm 26-years-old, studying and practising plastic surgery. I live with my parents and my younger brother in our beautiful house.

My older brother lives with his wife live in the adjacent street. My grandfather and mother live about seven houses away from ours. And my aunt's house is in the main street beside us.

We feel safe, being together, in spite of the conditions here in Iraq, especially in Baghdad, because we are close to each other. Whenever any of us needs anything, we all help each other.

I have limited relationships with the neighbours, as I don't have time for social commitments. I don't trust most of them as I believe some of them to be terrorists.

I work in a major hospital in the centre of Baghdad. Every morning, I wake up at 0630, get dressed and eat breakfast.

At 0730 I go out to work, mostly with my father, but sometimes I go alone by car. The hospital isn't far away, it takes 30 minutes to get there but can take hours when some of the roads are blocked.

We are trying to create something from nothing. We don't have even adequate materials, equipments, drugs, or the simplest things we need in our work

I start my day by checking on the resident patients. Then I check the surgical list for that day. If there are any, I work on them early, but mostly there are interruptions from the emergency room whenever there is a blast or too many injured people are admitted.

I have to stay until at least 2100 as a doctor on call in the emergency room. This routine goes for four days a week, and the remaining three days I go home at 1600. Then I do work such as cleaning the house, washing laundry, or cooking - by the way, I'm a good cook, you should try my food some day!

Reality hits

In the evenings I usually visit my grandmother and father, or go out shopping with Mum or my friends. Sometimes just for a few minutes I feel that everything is going just fine - just great - and we can live normally without fears. But as soon as I wake up from my dream I face the reality.

An Iraqi hospital
Need is great and resources are scarce in many Iraqi hospitals
I love my work so much, and I enjoy doing it, but sometimes I hate being a doctor, especially when I can't save someone's life.

Real crimes happen here and many innocent people are dying due to bomb blasts or assassinations. Sometimes we go through a really bloody day that breaks my heart.

I wish that I could do something to stop the pain and despair. We are fighting here to live. We don't know if we're going to live for another day or not. Every day I pray to get home safe, and my whole family.

We are trying to create something from nothing. We don't have even adequate materials, equipments, drugs, or the simplest things we need in our work, or even proper theatres for minor or major surgery or enough emergency staff.

We are delayed more and more due to terrorism. That's why me and my whole family voted in January, and we will vote again.

I am proud of being myself - a hopeful Iraqi woman - and I am completely convinced that things are going better and better and we're going to go on building our country and the new civil society.

I don't have fears for the future, because I trust the Iraqi people.


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