Eldad Rafaeli

Saving Lives and Bringing Worlds Together

Breaking boundaries and being first takes both vision and daring. Fortunately, Sanaa Mahameed of Umm el-Fahm has both. In a world that seems set on entrenching divisions, Mahameed dared to make connections instead — in her case, as the first Muslim woman in the United Hatzalah’s Ambulance Riders’ Unit.

United Hatzalah, which began as a volunteer Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) initiative, now has thousands of volunteers around the country ready to provide emergency medical assistance to anyone in need. Sanaa’s story, which began in the wake of a family tragedy, is that of a double breakthrough, with regard both to the society in which she grew up and that of the organization for which she volunteers.

Since joining United Hatzalah, Sanaa has inspired more women, both Jews and Arabs, to join its ranks. She has therefore achieved even more than intended: Sanaa not only saves lives, but also brings worlds together.