In the late 1970s, a young child came to the UK with his family to escape the regime of Saddam Hussein. Educated in the UK, Haidar Al Hakim later trained as an ophthalmic surgeon at London University and Bart’s Hospital. In 2004, he returned with his father, a marine biologist, to Najaf, Iraq. They were shocked to find the lack of eye care expertise and facilities and then only in private hospitals, way beyond the reach of the vast majority of the local populace.
Haidar began to formulate his vision for the future: a special community ophthalmic clinic in Najaf. The community eye clinic would serve those most in need. Upon his return to England, and determined to make his vision a reality, Haidar teamed up with Sharon Ridsdale, a friend with over 20 years experience in the voluntary sector and founded Al Hasan Foundation.
So began the important work of the charity. Embarking on endless fund-raising and networking, and supported by an initial grant from the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Haidar made a series of trips over the next three years to Iraq. Providing cataract surgery and glaucoma treatment to needy patients, donating equipment and supplies as well as teaching ophthalmology at the Al Sadr teaching hospital, Haidar laid the foundations for the charity’s work in Iraq.

  • no-img

    Haidar’s first passport that allowed him entry into the UK