KHARTOUM (Sudanow) - Yasin Hamad, an office worker, used to drive a taxi after working hours.
He said one day in the 1970s while driving his taxi in the Umbadda neighborhood of Omdurman, a woman stopped him and asked him to take her to the Omdurman main market. There she asked him to wait for some time. After a long wait, he thought the woman might have escaped without paying the taxi fare. About to drive away, he saw the woman approaching him burdened with many things she bought from the market. She asked him to take her to her home at the Thawra neighborhood. On the way she started to cry and moan and asked him to hurry up because she was in labor. Suggesting he takes her to the hospital, she insisted to go home. Fearing that she might fall unconscious and fail to lead him to her home, he drove right to the maternity hospital despite her cries.
She was immediately rushed into the operation theatre. After a while a nurse came out and gave him a paper to sign because the woman was in need of an emergency surgery as the baby was taking a horizontal position, causing heavy bleeding. He told the nurse he was no more than a taxi driver. ”Man! The woman is in danger and you tell me you are just a taxi driver! Come on sign and let us finish our job!”, the nurse shouted out.
“I told the nurse I don’t know the woman in person and she nervously warned me that if I don’t sign and the woman dies, I would be obliged to take the body away because the hospital knows no other person to take this responsibility. She also said if I don’t sign, they will call the hospital's security unit to be witness to my behavior if the woman happens to die.”
Here, says Yasin, I signed the paper. The nurse then asked me to stay “because we may need you for possible blood transfusion!”
But after a few minutes the nurse came out followed with the doctor on duty saying: ”Congratulations, she gave birth to a baby boy.”
He told them it was not his boy. “Here the doctor gave me a harsh look and whispered something to the nurse. Then they asked me to follow them to the office. The harshest surprise in waiting was that they took me to the security office, suspecting that the baby was mine, conceived out of wedlock especially after they first noticed my hesitation to sign the paper and my intention to go away.
Another indication of this was that I took the woman to hospital without the necessary childbirth requirements. They told me to stay for three or four hours until the woman wakes up and be interrogated. “After that we will tell you where to go,” they said.
He stayed put cursing his bad luck and his inability to find a way of locating the woman’s relatives.
Three hours later the woman’s husband came to the hospital accompanied by some relatives. They had lost contact with her and suspected she might have been in hospital because they knew that she was about to give birth. The nurse on duty told them that a woman had given birth to a boy three hours ago. Seeing the woman the man said she was his wife. ”No! You are not her husband. Her husband had signed the surgery undertaking,” said the nurse.
The man wanted to know who this man was and the nurse took him to Yasin in the security office. “The man immediately took to my throat, swearing to kill me if it were not for the security’s intervention.”
Soon a security officer came in and asked the man to take it easy. “We also have felt foul play in this incident. You have to thank this man because he brought the woman at the right time, otherwise she might have died. The surgery was very critical and you could have lost her,” said the officer.
“How could you know that,” asked the husband.
“The woman has just woke up and told me the taxi driver’s story and gave me this address to inform you. She also wants you to thank this man and pay him,” said the officer.
Here the husband broke into tears and hugged the taxi driver and asked for forgiveness. Further, he immediately named the baby Yasin, after the humane taxi driver.
Yasin, the taxi driver, kept a close friendship with the family all through these forty years, while the other Yasin, the then newborn, grew up and now occupies an excellent job in a Scandinavian country!
Note: The story was first published in the Arabic daily al Sudani.
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