Remembering MAP’s former trustee and lifetime achievement awardee Runa Mackay

All of us at Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP) are deeply saddened to learn of the death of close friend and colleague Dr Runa Mackay.

“It is impossible for us to fully appreciate all that Runa has done. She will be greatly missed, and her passing on leaves a big vacuum for many of us.”

“The kind and strong paediatrician who, after retiring from serving the Palestinians as a doctor for 30 years in Galilee, decided to join MAP in 1987 to work in Lebanon as part of our medical team. Runa was initially in Burj el-Barajneh refugee camp in Beirut and then went on to work in South Lebanon. The Palestinian refugee camps of Lebanon were under siege and shelling during Runa's time with us. Conditions were grim and treacherous.

“Upon returning from Lebanon, Runa founded Scottish MAP and continued her support till the very end. Her faith, courage and sustained commitment to the Palestinian cause over so many years is deeply inspiring. In 2014 MAP gave Runa our lifetime achievement award, recognising her almost 60 years of service to the Palestinian people.”

“Runa has left another precious legacy for us. Her book "Exile in Israel" published in 1995 is a must read for all of us. It is an inspiring autobiographical account of forty years in the life of a British doctor working with victims of war and exile in Israel, Lebanon and the occupied Palestinian territory. Runa writes with authority and verve. Her story is medically impressive, socially moving and politically trenchant.

“All of us at MAP can never thank Runa enough for all that she has done for us and the Palestinian communities she served. Hers is going to be a hard, if not impossible, act to follow. In deep gratitude we’re forever thankful that Dr Runa Mackay came into our lives to journey with us.”

- Dr Swee Chai Ang FRCS, Honorary Patron and Co-Founder of MAP

“Runa was such an inspiring figure to whom I owe a lot. I had the honour of working alongside her in Scottish MAP and then in her mobile clinic in South Lebanon in the 90s. Her quiet dedication, matter of fact humility and strength will remain my most biding memories of her. She was a wonderful human being, a great doctor and a resolute defender of Palestinian rights. Runa helped shape my understanding of medicine. I will always remember her with love.”

- Dr Ghassan S. Abu-Sittah, MBchB, FRCS(Plast), Plastic Surgeon and MAP Trustee

Our thoughts are with Runa’s family and friends at this very sad time.

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