epub Walking FreeAuthor Munjed Al Muderis – Z55z.co

In , 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 fleeThat day, Munjed s life changed forever He escaped to Indonesia, where he boarded a filthy, overcrowded refugee boat, bound for AustraliaLike 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 IraqOnAugust , 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 againWalking 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


10 thoughts on “Walking Free

  1. Katie Katie says:

    I finished reading this book this afternoon and haven t been able to stop thinking about it I m quite a conservative, fairly right wing Aussie but I also demand facts and the complete silence media ban now the ban on even speaking of the conditions of asylum seekers made me confront the uncomfortable question does the country that I love so much have concentration camps I admit I ve wondered for a while and probably didn t want to know I wanted to proudly tell the world how perfect Au I finished reading this book this afternoon and haven t been able to stop thinking about it I m quite a conservative, fairly right wing Aussie but I also demand facts and the complete silence media ban now the ban on even speaking of the conditions of asylum seekers made me confront the uncomfortable question does the country that I love so much have concentration camps I admit I ve wondered for a while and probably didn t want to know I wanted to proudly tell the world how perfect Australia is but we are not.That question led me in search of books from individuals who have experienced these detention centres in this case on shore they have since been moved offshore and I read Munjed s story, only putting it down when I had to go to work It s an almost unbelievable tale of survival, a reminder that life under Saddam Hussein was not peaceful nor stable and it pulls back the curtain on how Australia treated, and I assume, still treats asylum seekers I trust Munjed s account He has photographs to back up his account, he is largely secular and highly intelligent, able to give us insight into the other asylum seekers both good and bad as well as the guards and government officials.One of the first things that appauled me about the country that I love so much is that detainees were referred to by a number, never a name a tactic used by many a totalitarian regime to dehumanise people and in this instance it worked How bad must things be that going to prison alongside murderers and pedophiles is paradise compared to the Curtain Detention Centre No wonder the media was banned from reporting on visiting photographing these facilities They are appauling I used to watch a TV series Young Lions and an episode was banned by the government because it featured just a fictionalised account of a detention centre I knew then that things must be bad if the government was clamping down this way I just don t think I was ready to confront it.You ll learn that not only were people referred to only by a number but children were left in the camp with no education and exposed to abuse from other detainees, the heat, rain, snakes etc had everyone so on edge its no wonder fights broke out and Munjed was told constantly to go back to Iraq where he would be certainly tortured killed that Australians don t want him here.Frankly it s a miracle that he remained a good person and that he never lost his ambition to continue practicing medicine and now he restores literally the lives and limbs of Australians He is an asset to this country and we are very lucky to have him.Very importantly, he discusses how Australia needs to change its attitudes to refugees Not all people are like Munjed Many are uneducated and are driven to the ghettos and the fringes of society They play right into the hands of extremists who welcome them with open arms when we do not He makes excellent recommendations on how we can address this I only hope that enough people in power pay attention Even if they do not, we all can play a small part in welcoming refugees when they move into in our local communities They have suffered enough Let s make it stop with us


  2. Lisa Lisa says:

    Walking Free is an extraordinary memoir if someone rewrote it as a novel, readers would say it was unrealistic Yet this story is true Munjed Al Muderis was born into a privileged family in Iraq under the regime of Saddam Hussein He survived its wars with Iran and Kuwait, and the First Gulf War, and despite disruptions to his education managed to graduate as a doctor He got married, and had a child, and lived what passed for a normal life in Saddam s Iraq Until the fateful day that changed hi Walking Free is an extraordinary memoir if someone rewrote it as a novel, readers would say it was unrealistic Yet this story is true Munjed Al Muderis was born into a privileged family in Iraq under the regime of Saddam Hussein He survived its wars with Iran and Kuwait, and the First Gulf War, and despite disruptions to his education managed to graduate as a doctor He got married, and had a child, and lived what passed for a normal life in Saddam s Iraq Until the fateful day that changed his life forever He was working as a junior surgeon at the Saddam Hussein Medical Centre in Baghdad when busloads of army deserters were hauled into the hospital by a team of heavily armed soldiers To their horror, the surgeons were ordered to amputate the tops of the deserters ears, by order of Saddam Hussein.Then I saw three burly officers striding along the corridor towards the operating theatre They were menacingly huge, heavily armed and dressed in full camouflage uniform with combat boots the most finely honed instruments of Saddam s brutality As they approached they were giving orders to staff to immediately begin the surgery The most senior doctor in the operating theatre refused their instructions He told the officers he had taken a solemn oath to do no harm to his patients Straight away he was marched to the hospital car park, briefly interrogated and then shot in front of a number of medical staff The military thugs then came back to the operating theatre and bluntly told us, If anyone shares his view, step forward Otherwise carry on p.134 Muderis shared the view of this brave senior doctor, but he didn t want to die He slipped out of the theatre unobserved, hid in the women s toilets for five hours, and then fled.To read the rest of my review please visit


  3. Jennie Diplock-Storer Jennie Diplock-Storer says:

    What an amazing story of survival, resilience giving back to the world with no bitterness or anger Munjed Al Muderis fled Iraq in the late 1990 s At the time the country was under embargo food was rationed, water, electricity petrol was in short supply But when Munjed, a Surgeon, was ordered by soldiers of Sadaam s to amputate the ears of military deserters, he realised that he had no choice but to run To refuse meant instant execution Thus started a journey for this educated man from What an amazing story of survival, resilience giving back to the world with no bitterness or anger Munjed Al Muderis fled Iraq in the late 1990 s At the time the country was under embargo food was rationed, water, electricity petrol was in short supply But when Munjed, a Surgeon, was ordered by soldiers of Sadaam s to amputate the ears of military deserters, he realised that he had no choice but to run To refuse meant instant execution Thus started a journey for this educated man from an upper class family. Munjed became a boat person , a refugee in Australia Walking Free focuses mainly on Munjed s torrid escape from Iraq his 10 month experience of life within the Detention Centre in Curtin, Western Australia This was well before the Australian people were speaking out against conditions in Detention Centres, probably before we were aware Munjed, hundreds , lived in squalid circumstances, known only by a number, his was 982 Poor food, even worse toilet shower conditions, hours of boredom It wasn t until almost a year to the day that he d left Iraq that Munjed finally obtained his Immigration papers was free to live in Australia Munjed dedicatedly studied worked to become an Orthopaedic Surgeon went a whole lot further, becoming a pioneering osseointegration surgeon, working with his specialised teams to transform the lives of amputees Walking Free was certainly an eye opener for me The conditions for those living in war torn Iraq in the 1990 s and the treatment of the detainees was something of which I was unaware, I m ashamed to admit The majority of the book focuses on this part of Munjed s experience I would have loved to have readabout his work in osseointegration the lives he changed indepth This amazingly compassionate man just wanted to make other people s lives better, throughout his whole life, not just as a surgeon This is easily a book to recommend A fascinating man with an extraordinary story from which we can all learn


  4. Dave Bolton Dave Bolton says:

    The real story of an Iraqi refugee around the time of the Sydney Olympics Highlights the problems that make the topic of boat arrivals controversial people smugglers profiteering, amongst other things , but also the completely amateurish and inhumane approach of the Australian government when Muderis describes a few nights in a regular Australian jail as a welcome respite from detention camps, you know there is something wrong with the picture.Muderis goes on to become a significant contribu The real story of an Iraqi refugee around the time of the Sydney Olympics Highlights the problems that make the topic of boat arrivals controversial people smugglers profiteering, amongst other things , but also the completely amateurish and inhumane approach of the Australian government when Muderis describes a few nights in a regular Australian jail as a welcome respite from detention camps, you know there is something wrong with the picture.Muderis goes on to become a significant contributor to Australia and indeed the world through his medical innovation this is no spoiler, it s mentioned in the first pages , which makes you wonder what potential is squandered or squashed with Australia s regrettable approach to refugees


  5. A Reader& A Reader& says:

    Dr Munjed Al Muderis grew up in Iraq during Saddam Hussein s reign He went to school with Saddam s sons, then started his medical training at Basra University just as the Iran Iraq War began One day, as he was working as a trainee surgeon at the Saddam Hussein Medical Centre, he and his colleagues were ordered to remove the tops of the ears of army deserters He could not bring himself to act in defiance of the medical code of conduct and cause intentional harm, so he had no choice but to flee Dr Munjed Al Muderis grew up in Iraq during Saddam Hussein s reign He went to school with Saddam s sons, then started his medical training at Basra University just as the Iran Iraq War began One day, as he was working as a trainee surgeon at the Saddam Hussein Medical Centre, he and his colleagues were ordered to remove the tops of the ears of army deserters He could not bring himself to act in defiance of the medical code of conduct and cause intentional harm, so he had no choice but to flee Baghdad that same day In Kuala Lumpur he paid people smugglers to get him to Australia, where he was incarcerated in a detention centre and known only as 982 After nine months of being repeatedly brutalised for standing up for himself and other detainees, Munjed was finally freed But he had to start his medical training again, from scratch Now, 15 years later, Munjed is at the forefront of orthopaedic medicine as he pioneers a new form of prosthesis that, ironically, transforms the lives of soldiers mutilated in the Iraq War Walking Free is the extraordinary story of a clever young man, born into one of Iraq s ruling families, who was forced to flee the country of his birth and forge a new and extraordinary life in Australia.I am a little bit divided about this book Lots of positives and negatives about itbut let s start with the positives Munjed is a brilliant man he escaped a brutal dictatorship in Iraq, he survived the long journey to Australia on a boat hardly fit for transport on which he was the sole doctor trying to care forthan 150 people including 3 pregnant women and became a pioneering surgeon in orthopaedic medicine In anyone s terms, that is an amazing story He speaks of the people who helped him, the people who made his life hard He speaks of the injustices of the refugee immigration policies at that time He speaks of his love of his work He comes across as a guy you would bethan happy to shake the hand of.However, the downsides were frustrating I think the front cover of this book and the blurb on the back did the story no favours Although it doesn t specifically say that he was from a poor family, my images of refugees are of people with no money, no hope That is not the case here Munjed came from a very wealthy family he even paid 10,000 for a fake passport to get him out of Iraq His mother handed him great wads of cash at every opportunity So, in that regard, I didn t feel he was doing it too tough.Also, the front cover says he came to Australia to become a pioneering surgeon while that may be technically true, he was already well on his way to being a surgeon before he fled Iraq He had studied at some of the finer universities teaching hospitals in Iraq And, finally, his attitudes to the Australian government and the people running the Curtin detention centre I am not sure what he expected, slipping into the country illegally after throwing his 10,000 passport overboard on the way having no identification papers and for no reason other than he didn t want to do something ordered by Saddam I don t think his life was under threat in Iraq, and I don t really believe he was a genuine refugee And that spoiled my opinion of him and the book itself.PaulARH


  6. Hannah Louey Hannah Louey says:

    Free tells the incredible story of Iraqi born surgeon, Munjed Al Muderis a man who faced terrible odds and circumstances to become one of the world s leading osseointegration surgeons Set during the time when Iraq is first invaded, Muderis is training to become a surgeon when he faces a terrible choice a squad of Military Police the bad guys arrive at his hospital and demand that he and his team perform surgery and remove the ears on a group Free tells the incredible story of Iraqi born surgeon, Munjed Al Muderis a man who faced terrible odds and circumstances to become one of the world s leading osseointegration surgeons Set during the time when Iraq is first invaded, Muderis is training to become a surgeon when he faces a terrible choice a squad of Military Police the bad guys arrive at his hospital and demand that he and his team perform surgery and remove the ears on a group of army deserters Out of three options main, be killed or flee Muderis chooses to flee, leading him to a long, dangerous journey that takes him to Australia However, when Muderis finally makes it to Australia he faces another challenge the anguishes of Australia s refugee camps.Quite frankly, Muderis s story is amazing Bone chilling and harrowing at times, frustrating at others, the circumstances that Murderis survives are simply astounding and that s without taking in the courage and fortitude that Muderis has throughout.As I stated in the opening paragraph of this review, I m interested in war history, particularly if it s from an unusual perspective In this regard, Walking Free ticked the boxes Here is an incredible narrator who defied all odds to become a leader in his field, and one who can show us into the lives of those that we so rarely have the chance to hear from Amazing stuff, yes But still, despite all this, I had two big problems with Walking Free that stopped it from being a fantastic read.Firstly, the problem I ve found with war memoirs is if they aren t written well, orimportantly, if they aren t written by the narrator, then they quickly lose steam When they ve been filtered through from narrator to writer, as is the case with Walking Free, the emotions, nuances and, most importantly, the voice gets lost amongst all the facts Instead of the cadences, feelings and little pieces of mise en scene we re left with facts devoid of spirit a weird irony considering the subject matter As any good author or editor will tell you, a great book is all about showing rather than telling the reader what is occurring, and this is something that seems to fall by the wayside in Walking Free As a reader I m not given the opportunity to discover things for myself, to imagine places, atmosphere or emotions instead I m being directed, forcibly, through event after event.Secondly, one aspect of Muderis s life that I was fascinated by was his work as an osseointegration surgeon or, in layman s terms, Muderis creates robotic arms and legs and attaches them to amputees Seriously, can you think of aimpressive job Yet Muderis s work in this field is pushed right up until the final chapter, as though this aspect of his life isn t important.Walking Free is an incredible story and Munjed Al Muderis is clearly a courageous man, but even this wasn t enough to keep me hooked Some people may very well love this memoir, but for those who needthan just facts to get them through a book, then I d give this one a miss


  7. Birgit Birgit says:

    I have a lot of mixed feelings with regards to this book.We hear the news of what happens in Iraq, when they invade Kuwait and the first Gulf War and we sit in our comfy homes and think thats terrible and aren t we lucky here in Australia It was really interesting to read how all of this impacted an Iraqi resident.I can t imagine what it would feel like to be frightened for your life and have to flee from your own country with no real plan of where you are going to end up He comes from a wealt I have a lot of mixed feelings with regards to this book.We hear the news of what happens in Iraq, when they invade Kuwait and the first Gulf War and we sit in our comfy homes and think thats terrible and aren t we lucky here in Australia It was really interesting to read how all of this impacted an Iraqi resident.I can t imagine what it would feel like to be frightened for your life and have to flee from your own country with no real plan of where you are going to end up He comes from a wealthy family which he freely admits and has had an easy upbringing This is also easy to see from the picture of the inside of his house in Iraq He accidentally fell in with two men who were illegally immigrating and thus ended up on a boat coming to Australia He was young, scared for his life, no real plan, these two guys had a solution for him Could he have come to Australia legally considering he had funds The people smugglerswords can t describe them, making money and lots of it out of other people s desperation The boat trip sounded horrendous.When they arrived in Australian waters and were picked up by the AFP and taken to Christmas Island, I felt they were treated well however I felt some of the immigrants extremely disrespectful rejecting food that had been given them and demanding food that they were used to I felt the AFP treated them with respect and did they best they could given the circumstances.On to the Curtin Detention Center That bit actually made me feel ashamed to be Australian Yes they are illegal immigrants but does that really warrant them being treated so badly and not even using names just a number Disgusting There were so many different types of people there, desperate scared people who would do anything and pay anything for a new life A lot of people from poor villages who couldn t read or write from Iraq and Iran which surprised me There were also the fundamentalists the animosity between different type of Muslim religions which I didn t like at all.I m glad they were all processed and able to make a new life here in Australia and I was pleased to be able to read Munjed s story, I certainly learnt a lot Munjed Al Muderis is a world leading osseointegration surgeon and I m happy for him, good on him that he was able to realise his dream and make so many peoples lives better and is continuing to do this I really felt for him throughout this book especially how he was treated in the detention Center but when he left I felt myself not liking him all that much any hence only three stars for this book.I was discussing this book with a friend today and said how disgusting the Curtin Detention Center was He told me that approx 7 years ago whilst travelling around Australia he spent two weeks in Broome and for two Sunday s attended a Baptist Church and learnt that volunteers from that church drove three hours one way each week to teach the detainees English Obviously wasn t in Munjed s time just thought it worthwhile mentioning this


  8. Lill Dong Lill Dong says:

    Reading this book was straying REALLY FAR from my comfort zone of books Firstly, it s an autobiography, which I admit is the first one i ve ever read excluding justice game, mao s last dancer , secondly it s focused quite a bit on the social political aspects of modern warfare which I tend to avoid mostly in any genre.I must say that I was pleasantly surprised, in fact, I ll even go as far to say that I was absolutely mindblown after reading this book It has SERIOUSLY made me reflect upon Reading this book was straying REALLY FAR from my comfort zone of books Firstly, it s an autobiography, which I admit is the first one i ve ever read excluding justice game, mao s last dancer , secondly it s focused quite a bit on the social political aspects of modern warfare which I tend to avoid mostly in any genre.I must say that I was pleasantly surprised, in fact, I ll even go as far to say that I was absolutely mindblown after reading this book It has SERIOUSLY made me reflect upon modern day political situations asylum seekers and the war in Iraq from a TOTALLY different perspective to that presented in the media conflicting perspectives lol BUT YES Munjed Al Muderis is actually such an inspiration, and just reading his story and hardships makes me root for him This book is basically giving the authorities a motherfuckers, look at me now.Yes munjed, LOOK AT U NOW pls teach me the ways only thing I can whine about is that I hoped that there would bemedical related stories since the book was mainly about his escape but OH WELL still enjoyed it nonetheless


  9. Helen Yeh Helen Yeh says:

    This is a sad story with so much blood and tears It is too sad to be true but luckily it ended up to a happy outcome Dr Munjed survived wars in the Middle East but this didn t mean that he would have a normal life afterwards He stepped on an unexpected horrible journey to Australia to seek asylum just because he refused to execute Saddam Hussein s order to mutilate the ear of the military deserters He came to Australia by a boat What welcome him is a 10 months of unexpected, unforgettable, This is a sad story with so much blood and tears It is too sad to be true but luckily it ended up to a happy outcome Dr Munjed survived wars in the Middle East but this didn t mean that he would have a normal life afterwards He stepped on an unexpected horrible journey to Australia to seek asylum just because he refused to execute Saddam Hussein s order to mutilate the ear of the military deserters He came to Australia by a boat What welcome him is a 10 months of unexpected, unforgettable, humiliated life in Curtin Detention Center in Western Australia Dr Munjed is such a wonderful great man with great courage and kindness he dedicated himself in the field of osteointegration surgery to help lots of the amputees to walk free again after he left the detention center Australia is so blessed to have him in the country


  10. Judyw Judyw says:

    This book was very interesting although it was written in a very dry style More people should write books about this topic to help people understand the issues.