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Exhibition documents work of WCM-Q trainee doctors in Tanzania

HE Ms Fatima Mohammed Rajab and Dr. Dietrich Büsselberg in front of two of his photographs.
HE Ms Fatima Mohammed Rajab and Dr. Dietrich Büsselberg in front of two of his photographs.

A photography exhibition documenting a life-changing trip that students at Weill Cornell Medicine - Qatar (WCM-Q), a Qatar Foundation (QF) partner university, recently made to Tanzania has opened at Multaqa (Education City Student Center).

‘Experience Tanzania’ – held in collaboration with QF Art and set to run until December 1 – illustrates a service-learning trip which saw WCM-Q’s trainee doctors travel to the East African country to offer health checks and basic healthcare services to the local community.

During the visit, the students learned about the lifestyles and traditions of local people, experienced the Tanzanian healthcare system, visited local schools and orphanages, and toured some of Tanzania’s national parks, including the famed Ngorongoro Crater.

Dr. Büsselberg with some of the WCM-Q students who travelled to Tanzania.

Their experiences have been documented by keen amateur photographer and WCM-Q professor of physiology and biophysics Dr. Dietrich Büsselberg, whose photographs capture the emotional journey of the students and their work with the Tanzanian people. These are interspersed with awe-inspiring, panoramic images of the landscape and its wildlife, including lions, elephants, and giraffes.

Dr. Büsselberg said: “I have accompanied the students to Tanzania for the last three years now, and it is always revelatory to witness how their experiences of providing healthcare to people in remote villages informs their belief of what it means to be a doctor. In Qatar, we have easy access to some of the best healthcare in the world and working and helping people who live far from mainstream medical services is a humbling experience for most of the students. I hope my photographs capture some of these emotions, along with the majesty of the natural world and the irrepressible spirit of the Tanzanian people.”

Additionally, as part of ‘Experience Tanzania’, QF is set to organize a guided tour of the exhibition on October 26 at 10am.

Hisham E. Nourin, executive director of strategy, administration and projects at QF, said: “We are delighted to collaborate with Weill Cornell Medicine – Qatar to host ‘Experience Tanzania’. This is a wonderful exhibition that truly captures the WCM-Q student service-learning trip. And it is for this reason that we will be hosting a guided art tour of the exhibition.

The photographs are being exhibited at Multaqa until December 1.

“Part of our wider Art Trail initiative, these unique tours – led by QF art specialists – are designed to showcase exceptional artwork housed in Education City – from the Minaretein Building (Education City Mosque) to Qatar National Convention Centre. Open to the public, we hope to engage and inspire the local community.”

‘Experience Tanzania’ was opened by HE Ms Fatima Mohammed Rajab, the Tanzanian ambassador to Qatar, who was delighted by the exhibition and how the photographs had captured the beauty of Tanzania and its nature.

Ms. Rajab said: “Tanzania is home to many different ethnicities and has great historical diversity. It also has the spectacular scenery of its game reserves including the unforgettable Serengeti and volcanic crater of Ngorongoro, not to forget Africa's highest mountain, Kilimanjaro, and the beautiful beaches and the aromatic spice islands of Zanzibar.

“This exhibition really captures the essence and warmth of the people and the abundance of natural resources we are blessed with that soothe the hearts of visitors from other countries,so they greatly enjoy their stay and feel at home. Tanzania really is a land of peace.”