Dr. Gino Strada is the founder of EMERGENCY, a global organization that brings free health care to war-torn countries. Strada is featured in the documentary film "Open Heart," which is nominated for Best Documentary Short Subject at this year's Academy Awards. The film follows eight Rwandan children who travel to Sudan for life-saving open-heart surgery. Strada, 64, resides in Khartoum, Sudan, where he spends at least nine months each year working at the Salam Center for Cardiac Surgery. For more information, check out the EMERGENCY website (http://www.emergency.it/en-index.html?511bdf712a4b0) or follow Strada on Twitter at (at)emergency_ong and (at)emergency_usa.
Q. How did your travels affect your decision to found EMERGENCY?
A. As soon as you see how many people in the world live in so-called poor countries, you can't pretend that everything is OK and go on with your routine. EMERGENCY was born on this awareness and shared with friends and colleagues.
Q. What would people find surprising about Sudan?
A. The great collaboration when facilitating patients to come from all over Africa to enter the country to be operated on at the Salam Centre for cardiac surgery. Our patients come from over 24 African countries! On the tourist side, the Nubian pyramids of Meroe are incredible. It is truly an amazing archaeological site.
Q. What have you learned from you travels?
A. I learned how important it is to know how other people really live. We should be aware of all the nuances and cultures that exist in the world.
Q. What are your five favorite cities?
A. Venice, Rome, Kabul before the war, San Francisco and New York City.
Q. Where have you traveled to that most reminded you of home?
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