Walking Free: The extraordinary true story of a young man who fled war-torn Iraq, came to Australia as a refugee by boat, spent months in a detention centre and went on to become a pioneering surgeon.

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Allen & Unwin, Sep 24, 2014 - Biography & Autobiography - 336 pages
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In 1999, Munjed Al Muderis was a young surgical resident working in Baghdad when a squad of Military Police marched into the operating theatre and ordered the surgical team to mutilate the ears of three busloads of army deserters. When the head of surgery refused, he was executed in front of his staff. Munjed's choices were stark--comply and breach the medical oath 'do no harm', refuse and face certain death, or flee.

That day, Munjed's life changed forever. He escaped to Indonesia, where he boarded a filthy, overcrowded refugee boat, bound for Australia.

Like his fellow passengers, he hoped for a new life, free from fear and oppression, but for ten months he was incarcerated in what became known as the worst of the refugee camps, Curtin Detention Centre in Western Australia. There he was known only by a number, locked in solitary confinement and repeatedly told to go back to Iraq.

On 26 August 2000, Munjed was finally freed. Now, fourteen years later, he is one of the world's leading osseointegration surgeons, transforming the lives of amputees with a pioneering technique that allows them to walk again.

Walking Free is Munjed's extraordinary account of his journey from the brutality of Saddam Hussein's Iraq to a new life in Australia and a remarkable career at the forefront of medicine.

 

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Contents

The first steps
1
1 The beginning of the end
5
2 The cradle of civilisation
21
3 Downtown dreams to bombing in Basra
40
4 Defying death in the desert
60
5 A degree of medicine
89
6 A funeral and a wedding
110
7 The journey beginsescaping Iraq
123
11 Chicken and ham on Christmas Island
206
12 The Curtain comes down
219
13 The breakouts
249
14 The turning point
276
15 The new beginning
299
16 Walking tall
311
Acknowledgements
323
About the Authors
327

8 Where in the World?
153
9 Prelude in Jakarta
171
10 The boat journey from Indonesia
193
Back cover
328
Copyright

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About the author (2014)

Associate Professor Munjed Al Muderis is a world leading osseointegration surgeon and Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Notre Dame Australia in Sydney. He practises as an orthopaedic surgeon at the Norwest Private Hospital, the Seventh Day Adventist Hospital and the Macquarie University Hospital in Sydney's northern suburbs. He lives in Sydney with his wife Irina, who's a GP, and their daughter Sophia.

Patrick Weaver is a highly regarded writer and public relations consultant who runs his own public relations and creative writing business in Sydney. He was previously a senior executive with an international public relations firm and with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Patrick is a former journalist with extensive experience in radio and newspapers in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. He was born in the UK, migrating to New Zealand in 1975 and to Australia in 1978. He lives in Sydney and has two adult children.

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