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Spotlights

In honor of Arab American Heritage Month, several Arab American community members are sharing stories about their backgrounds, careers and what inspired them to come to KU Medical Center.

 
Omar Almoghrabi portrait

Omar Almoghrabi, M.D.

He/him/his

Dr. Omar Almoghrabi is an assistant professor of cardiovascular and thoracic surgery at KU Medical Center. He attended the University of Missouri-Kansas City for undergraduate studies in biological sciences and went on to earn a medical degree from the KU School of Medicine. He completed his general surgery residency at the KU School of Medicine-Wichita and a fellowship in cardiovascular and thoracic surgery at KU Medical Center.

Where did you grow up?
Qatar, Jordan and Grandview, Missouri

What made you want to come to KU Medical Center?
I wanted to do surgery at an academic center with cutting-edge technology right here at home.

What are some of your hobbies?
I enjoy traveling and spending time with my wife and 2-year-old son. I also like playing soccer, tennis and football during my spare time.

How does the Arab American Heritage Month theme 'A Celebration and Reflection of Arab Culture and Contributions' resonate with you?
I am very excited to celebrate the Arab American Heritage Month here at KU Medical Center. This is a great opportunity as an Arab to showcase and highlight many of the Arab accomplishments and contributions to the world.

 

Patric Baki portrait

Patrick Baki

He/him/his

Patrick Baki is a second-year student at the KU School of Medicine. His father immigrated to the United States from Egypt as a boy while his family was escaping ongoing conflict with Israel in the 1960s. Patrick graduated from Blue Valley Northwest High School and earned his bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Kansas. He worked as a scribe in the cardiology and emergency department at KU Medical Center prior to entering medical school. Patrick is interested in pursuing a career in orthopedic surgery. He would like to be a health care provider who allows his patients to be seen, heard and given the best care possible no matter where they come from, what they look like or what language they speak.

Where did you grow up?
The Kansas City metropolitan area 

What made you want to come to KU Medical Center?
I wanted to come to KU Medical Center because I am a lifelong Jayhawk, and I wanted to be close to my family here in Kansas City. 

What are some of your hobbies?
I like kicking footballs, playing soccer and walking my dog, Charlie.

How does the Arab American Heritage Month theme 'A Celebration and Reflection of Arab Culture and Contributions' resonate with you?
"A Celebration and Reflection of Arab Culture and Contributions" is very validating for me. So often the Arab people in this country are overlooked or looked down upon, and the contributions of these great people go unnoticed. I think it's a great thing to celebrate people from all cultures, religions and backgrounds and learn from each other as best we can.

 

Ibrahim El Mikati portrait

Ibrahim El Mikati, M.D.

He/him

Ibrahim El Mikati, M.D., is a postdoctoral fellow in the KU School of Medicine. Dr. El Mikati earned his undergraduate degree in biology at American University of Beirut. He also received his medical training at American University of Beirut and holds a diploma as a Scholar in Health Research from American University of Beirut. Dr. El Mikati conducted research there for six months before coming to work at the Outcome and Implementation Unit at KU Medical Center in January 2022.

Where did you grow up?
Beirut, Lebanon

What made you want to come to KU Medical Center?
I was impressed by the kind of work that my mentor does in research, which is developing health-related guidelines in different fields in medicine. She also works in the methodology of producing research. Given that, I was very interested in coming and working in those areas.

What are some of your hobbies?
I enjoy photography and sharing my photos on Instagram. I also like poetry (both Arabic and English) and cooking.

How does the Arab American Heritage Month theme 'A Celebration and Reflection of Arab Culture and Contributions' resonate with you?
I’ve only been in the United States for a few months, so I still very much feel like an Arab. The time I have spent here made me realize the cultural differences, but I embrace those differences. I would also like to learn more about other people's experiences as Arab Americans, as it would give me a sense of solidarity and belonging. 

 

Karam Hamada portrait

Karam Hamada

He/him/his

Karam Hamada is a second-year student at the KU School of Medicine. Karam is the eldest son of two Palestinian refugees. He graduated from Wichita Collegiate High School and earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Kansas. In between college and medical school, he spent a year working as an orthopedic medical scribe at OrthoKansas in Lawrence, Kansas. When the pandemic hit in 2020, he spent a few months working at a Senior Care Psychiatric Hospital in Wichita until starting medical school in July 2020. His passions include building sustainable community initiatives to help bridge the gap between medical providers and members of the community.

Where did you grow up?
Wichita, Kansas

What made you want to come to KU Medical Center?
This region has always been close to my heart. I love KU Medical Center's commitment towards placing students in a variety of different backgrounds, especially diverse urban areas that are similar to what I was raised in. I am grateful for the opportunity to learn medicine in an engaging, hands-on way while still being able to be close to family.

What are some of your hobbies?
I am an avid basketball and soccer fan, spending time playing on the weekends. I also try to explore a new local hole-in-the-wall business every week throughout Kansas City, Kansas, and the surrounding area.

How does the Arab American Heritage Month theme 'A Celebration and Reflection of Arab Culture and Contributions' resonate with you?
It resonates strongly with me because Arab culture is very unique and diverse, as two neighboring countries can have major differences in their cuisine and traditions. Americans have a hard time differentiating between "brown" people of all types due to media portrayal, so events like this are crucial towards helping share our history and respective identities.

 

Reem Mustafa portrait

Reem Mustafa, M.D., Ph.D., MPH

She/her

Reem Mustafa, M.D., Ph.D., MPH, is an associate professor and director of outcomes and implementation research for the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension in the Department of Internal Medicine at KU Medical Center. Dr. Mustafa went to medical school in Jordan and then moved to Buffalo, New York, where she completed internal medicine and preventive medicine residency, earned her master’s in public health degree and then completed a nephrology fellowship. Dr. Mustafa has extensive experience in the development and assessment of clinical practice guidelines and has been involved with multiple guideline development groups internationally with the World Health Organization (WHO), the Infectious Disease Society of America (IDSA), the American College of Physicians (ACP) among others. She is a co-founder of the U.S. GRADE network and the Evidence Foundation and has published more than 250 peer-reviewed publications.

Where did you grow up?
I was born in Kuwait and grew up in United Arab Emirates, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

What made you want to come to KU Medical Center?
I was looking for a place that valued my skill set and will allow me to spend considerable proportion of my time working on research and teaching activities. It was also critical to me to find a place that will support my national and international collaborations and offer new ones.

What are some of your hobbies?
I love art, dancing, and traveling. I enjoy traveling and have visited many places, and my favorites have been Boston and Colorado in the United States and the Maldives, Malaysia, Barcelona and Rome overseas. 

How does the Arab American Heritage Month theme 'A Celebration and Reflection of Arab Culture and Contributions' resonate with you?
I am so excited that we are talking about celebrating the rich Arab culture. The Arabic world spans diverse and rich cultures in Asia and north Africa. Unbeknownst to many people, Arabs have contributed significantly to world civilization and culture including critical contributions to math, science and medicine.

 

Sammy Tayiem portrait

Sammy Tayiem, M.D.

He/him/his

Sammy Tayiem, M.D., is a clinical instructor in the Division of General and Geriatric Medicine in the Department of Internal Medicine. He graduated from the University of Kansas and earned his medical degree from The American University of Antigua College of Medicine. He completed his residency training at the KU School of Medicine.

Where did you grow up?
Kansas

What made you want to come to KU Medical Center?
KU Medical Center has always been my dream job. It's not only the best hospital near home but one of the best hospitals in the nation.

What are some of your hobbies?
I love spending time with my beautiful family. I enjoy watching and playing sports ― especially basketball and football ― and playing the piano and guitar. 

How does the Arab American Heritage Month theme 'A Celebration and Reflection of Arab Culture and Contributions' resonate with you?
Arabs and Arab-Americans have much to be proud of in their history, accomplishments and contributions to society and the world. I am happy to have this month to celebrate our people and culture as it has been long overdue.

 

Turkmani portrait

Danya Turkmani

She/her

Danya Turkmani is a doctoral student in the University of Kansas School of Medicine’s Department of Population Health. Danya earned her MBA in marketing and worked in the industry for 10 years before pivoting to health care communications. She is on the birth equity team where she is researching how to improve health equity for all through the use of digital tools and advancement. Danya wanted a career where she can help others ― particularly those who are traditionally underrepresented.

Where did you grow up?
I was born in Syria and lived there for 10 years before moving to Kansas City, Kansas.

What made you want to come to KU Medical Center?
I was impressed with KU's reputation for quality in health care provision and education.

What are some of your hobbies?
I enjoy painting, reading, walking in nature, traveling and trying new recipes.

How does the Arab American Heritage Month theme 'A Celebration and Reflection of Arab Culture and Contributions' resonate with you?
I finally feel seen and recognized. Arab-Americans have a rich history and culture which is oftentimes overshadowed by negative perceptions, perpetuated by the media. I've always been very proud of being both. Having merged both cultures into my life makes me a person with richer experiences and insights. I'm happy I get to share this with everyone throughout this month!

Office for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

University of Kansas Medical Center
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Mailstop 2015
3901 Rainbow Boulevard
Kansas City, KS 66160
Phone: 913-588-3319
Fax: 913-588-1412