Dr. Yahya Basha is the president and founder of Basha Diagnostics PC; he is a radiologist, businessman, and champion for refugees. He has worked with the Clinton, Bush, and Obama administrations.
I am one of 11 children. I brought most of them here and they have their spouses and children. Now we are more than 100 people, and we have 22 doctors in the family.
If I'm alone, I’m weak. When you are part of a community, you see what's weak, what's wrong, what's good about the community. You start to work to improve humanity, and you start with the closest people to you—your family, neighborhood, the people you share heritage with.
My dad's father died when he was four, his mom when he was 13. All the time he used to speak about feeling lonely. He worked very hard from the age of 13, supporting himself. He used to describe how hungry he was as a child.
Even though he started very poor, he had a candy factory. I used to see the happiness in the eyes of the kids taking candies. It made me feel so good that my dad made a lot of kids happy.
All that developed empathy in me but also a sense of insecurity; about how fragile we are. Without being linked to other human beings, life can be totally wasted and destroyed for no good cause. My dad taught me to value hard work, education, and charity.
You know, the other value I want my children and grandchildren to hold is loyalty to this country. I know we have a lot of heritage. We inherited our culture, religion, names, language, and memories from the old country. But I want them to feel that wherever you are, you belong to the people surrounding you.