Dr. Daoud Gabbay
Obituary by Dr. Gabbay Flora
Daoud was born in Baghdad Iraq in 1915, son of Reuben and
Habiba. He was the second son in a family of five children.
Three of them are Doctors in medicine and two are teachers,
one in English language and the other in Arabic language.
His father was a pharmacist and his mother was a French
teacher. The family was well known in Baghdad. He finished
all his studies in Baghdad including medical studies and
earned a degree in medicine (MD). Daoud started his career
as a doctor in a university hospital and out patient clinics.
After a number of years he opened a private clinic in Baghdad
and practiced general medicine and surgery. He was very
capable as a doctor, loved by his patients and popular amongst
many people in Baghdad. In 1972 he left Iraq to London,
England. He got to know many of the hospitals in London
and introduced himself to chief doctors. He was permitted
to attend their ward rounds so he was always up-to- date
in medical knowledge. In the last three years of his life
he was getting weaker and stopped his activities in many
areas. He passed away on the 28th of December 2002. He will
remain in our hearts.
May his memory be blessed
Edward Yamen writes:
I remember the clinic of my friend the late doctor David
Gabbay in Baghdad taking into account the way of caring
for several patients at a time, due to shortage of time
space and excessive number of daily patients coming with
no appointments from places more often than not, outside
Baghdad. He was ready to help without distinction poor and
Since he was graduated & until the 14th of July 1958
Doctor David Gabbay served in hospitals outside Baghdad
and in so many places such as Rutba, Remady, Tikrit, Balad,
Umarah, Falluja, etc. His services against the epidemics
in the marshes in southern Iraq going from one place to
another by boat (called SHAKHTOOR) were recognized by a
letter of appreciation and thanks from the United Nations.
But still he never succeeded to be appointed in Baghdad
After the events of the 14th of July 1958 he was brought
to Baghdad as his birthplace under arrest for no valid reasons
but fabricated accusations against him probably due to jealousies
of people serving in his field. After staying in prison
for a while I, personally, volunteered to bail him out guaranteeing
his presence whenever needed though he had to present himself
daily to the police station as an obligation.
This was a turning point in his life. After few months
and with a help of a lawyer he was set free from all the
accusations and after several more months as a jobless doctor
he managed to get the necessary permission to privately
set his clinic in Baghdad. During the years he stayed there
he asserted his identity as a learned and erudite doctor
and general practitioner of good name. Surely to bring joy
to a face clouded with despair, to dry a sufferer's tears
to help him survive and persevere and to restore his or
her joy in living brings meaning to the life of the recipient
and benefactor alike: a lofty goal which motivated him all
his life in reaching out to those in distress of sickness
especially those that the hardship and want affect their
spirit in addition to their health problems.
This is to recognize the immense value of his work. I was
deeply impressed to see in him a practical ground for social
welfare directed solely by one man without even a help of
a nurse on his side.
When I used to meet him after a whole day of hard work
I usually had to find him really tired except one evening
when he was happy, cheerful and upbeat in a special way:
the first thing he told me about was that he came across
a girl out of his patients of that day having her heart
on her right side! This discovery changed him to a completely
happy man all over the evening: This feeling reminded me
of the "Eureka'' moment of Archimedes, as it was mentioned
in the annals. What an excellent man!
P.S. As he became so much popular among the multitude of
his patients who became fond of him, his name was rounded
up arbitrarily according to their whims to a "household
name'' KOOBBAYA rather than GABBAY, and the buses which
used to bring them to Baghdad from their towns and villages
expressly used to mark their destination "Dr. KOOBBAYA''
and not even mentioning "Baghdad''!
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