On October 2, 1992 my wife and I drove to Hurley Hospital in Flint, Michigan. We were heading to the obstetric unit for the birth of our son, Bara.
About 27 years later, on April 27, 2019, my wife and I again drove to Hurley Hospital, Flint, Michigan, again heading to the same obstetric unit. This time, it was for the birth of Bara’s son — my first grandchild!
Between the two trips, our family has travelled the world. yet Flint, Michigan, has remained a reference point in our family’s life journey.
Shortly before the first trip to Hurley’s obstetric unit, in the summer of 1992, we arrived in the U.S. as a small family — my wife and I and two young children, Dua and Anas — to begin my internal medicine residency, at Hurley Medical Center, affiliated with Michigan State University. I started the residency on July 1, and Bara was born 3 months later. After residency, we moved to Indianapolis for my fellowship in 1994, then on to southeast Missouri in 1996 for J-1 visa waiver and green card processing. In 1999, we moved to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, for a job in a teaching hospital (King Fahd Armed Forces Hospital).
Then in 2003, we moved back to the U.S., to settle in and to pursue our US citizenship. We (again) chose Flint, Michigan.
In the pursuit of the aforementioned return to Flint (our family’s favorite town), I had always wanted to work in academia. Flint does not have a medical school. So, in my last year in Jeddah, I had two interviews for academic jobs: one at Texas Tech University School of Medicine in Midland-Odessa and the other at University of Missouri at Kansas City. I was offered jobs at both places.
But my family and I wanted to settle in Flint!
I joined a private endocrinology practice in Flint in late 2003. I returned to Hurley Hospital, 9 years later, now as a consultant endocrinologist. In the spring of 2005, I was finally able to get my dream job in academic medicine, joining Michigan State University. We made the painful decision of leaving Flint to move 40 minutes west to Lansing as the Flint-Lansing daily commute was too rough for me.
After travelling the world, we finally settled in East Lansing, the hometown of Michigan State University, for the last 14 years. But Flint is only 40 minutes to the east, and we would go to Flint all the time; we have a lot of friends. With time, the kids grew up, and they all finished college (all MSU alums).