Meet Nigar: One of the BBC’s 100 Women of 2022

  • Iraq

“The support, both physically and mentally, that burn patients require is something I really wanted to provide. For me, becoming a nurse became a dream.”

Nigar speaks to us from Sulaymaniyah, Iraqi Kurdistan. Nigar is a nurse, and one of the BBC’s 100 Most Inspiring and Influential Women of 2022. We are so happy that she has been recognised with such a high honour for her dedication to helping people, and we want to share her impact within the community.

Nigar began treating patients with EMERGENCY in 1996. Now, she’s Head Nurse in the main Burns Unit in Sulaymaniyah, in the Surgical Hospital that EMERGENCY handed over to local authorities in 2005. Here, Nigar is pictured with colleagues from both hospitals at a recent reunion.

I am from the first group of nurses that EMERGENCY trained to treat paediatric burn injuries. What I learned there is to put the patients at the centre, and to give them hope. I will always remember receiving a patient who was 16 years old. She was admitted with severe burns and was going through a very difficult time emotionally, but I saved her life. Now she is alive and I am very happy my support was useful.”

“Teamwork is at the core of what we do. Teamwork, humanity, and kindness: these are the words I connect to my daily job and my long experience with EMERGENCY. When I found out about the award, I thought, ‘this award is not for Nigar, it is for all the staff here.’ As a woman, as a nurse, as a part of this group, it’s such an important recognition and I am happy it’s been noticed, but I am happier for the many people saved behind it.”


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