Saturday, September 25, 2010

FDNY paramedic and rapper Farooq Muhammad reminds people to "Call 911"

I have been feeling a little homesick/nostalgic for Brooklyn recently, and this video, which I found when googling for "street medicine" after an inspiring meeting with street medicine pioneer Dr. Jim Withers yesterday (the public affairs section of the US embassy brought him to Nigeria to give several talks about his medical work with homeless populations in the US), hit the spot. The video reminded me of what I loved about New York, and also makes me think of my sister who worked as a paramedic for several years before starting medical school.

This music video was apparently made in 2009, but I love how, in the midst of all the shrill controversy about the supposed "Ground Zero" mosque, the presence of a rapping paramedic, Farooq Muhammad, who grew up in Flatbush, Brooklyn, reminds an audience that there are millions of Muslim Americans, many of whom who are as passionate about being good citizens and helping people, if not more so, than their cynical and ignorant "haterz." A New York Daily News article on Farooq mentions that he was one of the firefighters dispatched to the World Trade Centre on "9-11:

Muhammad has been with the FDNY for 14 years, and was at the World Trade Center on 9/11. Like a lot of emergency responders, he went down that day to help out, and ended up getting trampled when people fled the buildings.

He says the videos are not a way out of the department to a new line of work. He loves the job, he says. As he raps in the video, "I'd do it for free."

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