For healthcare professionals only

Fillers A memorable doctor

The life of an Egyptian doctor

BMJ 2001; 322 doi: (Published 12 May 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;322:1178
  1. Samir Mahfouz Simaika, senior consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist,
  2. Youssef S M Simaika (, registrar in obstetrics and gynaecology
  1. Coptic Hospital, Cairo, Egypt
  2. Colchester General Hospital, Colchester

    A freezing day on 5 January 1882. “I was born in a state of white asphyxia, the worst form of foetal distress. I was breathless when I was born and did not meet life with screams as most babies do. The midwife and doctor who attended my mother took me for dead. I was placed, together with the placenta, in a copper tray near an open window. My family was told that I was stillborn. Half an hour later my aunt Hana whispered to the midwife that she noticed that the baby was breathing feebly every few minutes whereupon the midwife wrapped me up, cut the cord, and did what she could to resuscitate me.”

    From such a precarious start to life, Naguib Mahfouz went on to become the first Egyptian professor …

    View Full Text

    Log in

    Log in through your institution


    * For online subscription