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Tragedy at Circle 2 Reem Shawarma

So, I have been enjoying my every other day Shawarma from the hole in the wall Reem Shawerma, Circle 2 just a block from the Intercontinental.  A small shwarama runs about a buck, sodas are JD 0.4 ($0.75) as opposed to JD 5 at my hotel (yes $7 Pepsi).  So, I know the risk of street food, but these guys looked OK and everyone said they were solid.


Reem Shawarma Circle 2

So the staff breakdown is Register guy- speaks English.  Lamb Cutting guy wears no gloves and has a solid grease burn on his left hand.  Next is Bread Cutting guy who also throws in the tomato, sauce and meat.  Finally, is the closer- he adds some spices, wraps the shawarma and throws it in a bag.  This will be important later.

Lamb Cutting guy with Bread cutting guy to his right


So here I am today, back from the hot, barren hellish landscape of Azraq and looking to get my shawarma on.  I get to Reem, no line- sweet.  I put in an order for 3- $2 dollars well spent.  They are washing the floors, so the guys are standing outside, their gloves still on.  OK, whatever.  Then Closer greats a guys on the street- gloved hand to random, nasty street guy hand.  Alright, my gut has seen worse.  A few seconds pass, and my old pal the Closer puts his hand on the lip of the garbage can- the inner lip.  Well, you can image in the inner monologue- not many words, but colorful.

So Closer comes back in grabs a bunch of bread and spices and begins, well closing.  I grab Register man and give him the two hands to the side palms up, eyebrows raised universal sign for WTF?!?!  I point to the hands tell him to change his gloves.  They look at me and put on a second pair of gloves.  I think my “no glove, no love” comment flew by them.

By now a crowd is standing outside Reem #2 (from now on ‘The Deuce’) .  They begin to say, “yes, good.” and “yes, glove”.  So, I don’t feel too bad until I catch two sideways glances from Bread Cutting guy and Closer.  Then, for a moment my view of the food is blocked.  I hear some laughing and begin to feel like Will Farrel after taking the Animal tranq dart to the next in Old School.  I catch them by surprise when the try to give my order to someone else, and we reconcile the order.  They try to give me a different bag, only raising my suspicion that The Deuce’s special sauce may live up to the name (sorry, but you knew it was coming).

So, I walk home, 3 shawarmas in a bag and two sodas- the only consolation is that soda at my hotel costs 10x (yes) the price at The Deuce.  So, I ditch the shawarmas, drink my soda, and am now ready to head back out into the city to find food… Insha’ Allah.

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OMI Haiti Updates

OMI Continues Work in Haiti and Finds Support at Home

Over 8 weeks ago, members of the OMI team were on the ground in Haiti using their expertise to identify operational gaps in the budding relief effort in Haiti. OMI continues to have team members on the ground working on one of their major projects: HIT Rescue.

This pilot project, which started by tracking unaccompanied minors and amputees using an off-the-shelf iPhone application, has evolved tremendously. During the first phase of this pilot project, OMI teams surveyed the end users of this program: Surgeons, Team Leaders, Field Hospital Administrators, and members of the UN Subcluster, to identify the needs of physicians providing direct care in the field to those charged with tracking epidemiological data. The result is a truly home-grown product developed by Dr. Larry Nathanson and Charlie Johnson. Physicians can now view patient’s x-rays in the field, document their assessment and plan, track SPHERE data, create an on-the-fly hospital census, and of course carefully track vulnerable populations (such as unaccompanied minors) with the click of a button.

See how one of our Orthopedic Surgeons feels about the new HIT Rescue Product:

Academic Conferences and Collaboration

At home, previous on-the-ground teams are working feverishly to form collaborations with others who see the need for immediate solutions to patient tracking. At the Relief 2.0 conference at Stanford, Ari Hoffman and Toff Peabody were among other field workers to return and present their work in an attempt to share their ideas and make HIT Rescue a product that can not only be used effectively in Haiti, but also become a product that can organize providers after any disaster. The expertise and potential collaborations at this conference were amazing.

Yesterday, Toff Peabody spoke at the 12 annual UCSF Global Health Conference on the Health and Technology Panel. The Global Health community supports products like HIT Rescue and many participants shared their ideas for making this disaster response package better. This feedback will only make the next iteration of this program better.

Grassroots Fundraising

The OMI team is amazed and humbled by the unsolicited volunteers who will be holding fundraising events in the coming weeks for HIT Rescue. Maureen Richardson, Danny Cox, and Nisha Thapa are all planning fundraising events for OMI. These events range from organizing a club to donate their cover charge, to hosting a dinner party and requiring a $50 donation to OMI. It is fundraising efforts like these that keeps the OMI teams on the ground, and continues the innovation in HIT Rescue.

If you would like to hold an event for OMI, please contact our Director of Fundraising and let us know how we can help:
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Our Favorite Change Agents 2013

: Continuing to build local leadership capacity and support participatory development after a decade on the ground. Awesome local leadership with Hilary Omala at the helm.

: The majority of our world’s population lacks access to life’s basic needs. Heather Fleming’s organization, Catapult

: Alissa Everett’s organization providing amazing advocacy for victims of gender- based violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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Emerging Trends

A short but relevant blog posting on the Council of Foreign Relations webpage regarding the emerging role of mHealth. OMI has been pushing the consolidation of mHealth efforts and unification of platforms since deploying the iChart in 2010 across post- Earthquake Haiti. Disaster response offers a unique opportunity

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