Member Review

Cover Image: Open Your Eyes

Open Your Eyes

Pub Date:

Review by

Irina R, Reviewer

This is a remarkable, true story about an eye specialist doctor and his fight against an easily and widely spread, chronic eye-infections (Trachoma) and how a blind boy affected by Trachoma and Rumi's philosophy, inspired him in his fight against the disease.

Told vividly from the eyes of his son (who also happens to be the author of this book), we learn more personally about not only the doctor's (named Dr. Mehdi Mostamand) fight and struggle in combatting the widespread,chronic but preventable eye-infections among the children in the rural areas,particularly in Herat where its condition is the most critical,but also about his characters and personality as a person, his hopes and dreams, his fears and struggles, his happiness and sadness as well as his inspirations and motivations. Uniquely, Dr. Mehdi is always encouraging his children to read his personal diary for them to know more about him.

This captivating story is written in a story-telling style, with several engaging conversations between the characters, which makes it more accessible and readable to the readers. The story unfolds beginning from the period before the arrival of the Taliban and until the invasion of the Soviet In Afghanistan,in which we learn about Dr. Mehdi's obstacles and struggles in building his own,independent organization named Mujadella Trachoma which is also influenced by the changes in the social and the political climates of the country.

The author's did a very fine job in providing us with more information about his country's unique culture through the additional footnotes that are widespread across the chapters. What i find most interesting is lots of quotes from the philosophies of the Persian poet, Rumi and some Sufi mysticism lectures in this story, from which Dr. Mehdi's got his motivations, inspirations and drives from.

Among some of the quotes of Rumi's which i find interesting are:
"In generosity and helping others,be like the river
In compassion and grace,be like the sun
In concealing other faults,be like the night
In anger and fury,be like the dead
In modesty and humility, be like the soil
In patience,be like the ocean".

"Wealth is in your heart and your thoughts; if you have much,give of your wealth. If you have little, give of your heart".

In short, this is a truly inspiring as well as very eye-opening story of a doctor's selfless and endless dedications in saving lives and bringing hopes to the people affected with the chronic conjunctivitis as told in the story that it is a widely spread disease but preventable with early detection and proper treatments,awareness and knowledge that is the main message and purpose of this book.

For that reason, i hope that more readers out there would give this book a chance by reading and buying this book and gives it the hypes and attention it needed in creating awareness of this widespread disease as well as in raising the fundings for the operations for the blind children around the world as every sales from this book is dedicated for that cause.

This story moved me so much in so many ways. It is nice and heart-warming to know more about Dr. Mehdi, his family and his close friends who also play central roles in bringing success to his work. I also feel privileged in being given the chance to read and to learn in depth more about this disease which prior to this was unfamiliar to me. I've had an experience in the past where one of my cats suddenly contracted some eye-infections in both of its eyes which eventually causing one of its eye to go blind while the other eye became partially blurred. So, that is just how serious eye-infections can get without early detection or prevention and the proper treatments.

Kudos to Dr. Mehdi for his heartfelt and endless dedications in fighting the disease and to Dr. Farid for sharing about his father's inspirational journey
in fighting the disease and for continuing his legacy through this story and creating more awareness about the disease. As Dr. Mehdi says, "People don't remember us for our career,wealth, or accomplishments. They remember us for the changes we make in people's lives".
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