Cardiologist traces his roots in a labour of love
By Rand Dalgamouni
AMMAN – As he was growing up in Amman, Ayman Hammoudeh kept hearing the name Beit Dajan mentioned by his family and people he met at weddings and funerals, which made him long to know more about his parents’ hometown.
“The name was always with me, even when I went to the US to pursue a higher degree in medicine, a patient mentioned it to me,” the cardiologist told The Jordan Times in a recent interview.
Searching the Internet for information on a medical condition, Hammoudeh decided to check if the Web had anything on the small Palestinian village located nine kilometres southeast of the city of Jaffa.
“I found thousands of results… I felt it was a waste to keep them hidden,” he said.
Hammoudeh’s interest was aroused, so he did further research about Beit Dajan in encyclopaedias and history books, but he still felt something was missing.
“When you read encyclopaedias you read about destroyed walls and abandoned neighbourhoods. They give you a lifeless image.”
So he decided to write a book documenting Beit Dajan’s history as told by those who have lived there, to “breathe life into the facts” and give the walls and neighbourhoods a vibrancy that they lack in history books.