Gerhard Freilinger is not your average doctor. He has led a life that is immediately enviable, but at the same time, one that has called for a great deal of courage. Having lived through wars and being exposed with the effects of conflict – both tangible and intangible – Dr. Freilinger has seen every side of both guns and operating tables in a whirlwind that has spanned seven decades. Nareg Seferian caught up with the man at the Kurdistan Regional Government representation in Vienna.
“I was born in Upper Austria, in Linz [in 1927]. I became a soldier at the age of fifteen,” Dr. Freilinger recalls. But his military career during the Second World War did not last long, as he ended up as a prisoner of war in Yugoslavia at just 17 years old. “I was in very, very bad condition after two and a half years of prison in Yugoslavia. I came home in 1946, very heavily damaged. My soul was sick, my heart was sick.”
Interested in being a doctor at a young age, Dr. Freilinger recalls how, at 12, he told his parents, “I would like to see this hospital [in Linz], but not only the operating room.” This was surprising to a family of lawyers. It was during his recovery in Salzburg, which took more than a year, where he decided to take on medicine as a profession. He finished with his schooling and then studied medicine at Innsbruck, followed by a fellowship in the United States. Notably, he ended up working in the field of plastic and reconstructive surgery, helping people deal with the physical scars of war. Continue reading
The high walls of Richard Heratch Tashjian’s home in Santa Fe reflect well the life and times of this artist and his work: side by side with paintings of the gorgeous, colorful landscapes of New Mexico, Mount Ararat towers with her twin peaks.
Craig Varjabedian has the eye of the poet
SANTA FE, New Mexico – He was in his mid-teens, taking pictures for the high school newspaper. One day, they had to go into town for a shoot when two colleagues got into an argument. Craig Varjabedian didn’t want any part of it, so he decided to walk the 20 or so miles home.