First female Druze MDA Medi-cycle paramedic

23-year-old Golan Heights resident is first Druze woman ever to serve as medi-cycle paramedic with MDA first response organization.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Balkees Abu Awad - first Druze medi-cycle paramedic in MDA
Balkees Abu Awad - first Druze medi-cycle paramedic in MDA

Balkees Abu Awad, a 23-year-old resident from the Israeli-Druze town of Buq'ata in the Golan Heights, began volunteering with MDA as a Youth Volunteer at the age of 16.

Now, she volunteers as an EMT and driver in the Golan. In a ceremony attended by Buq'ata Mayor Abbas Abu Awad, Yarden Regional Supervisor Oren Avitan, and Yarden First Responders Unit Supervisor Dudu Berger, Balkees' Medi-cycle was unveiled. The Medi-cycle will enable her to provide immediate medical care to the communities in the Golan.

"In my community, they have a difficult time with the fact that a woman would ride a motorcycle or drive an ambulance, and treat patients at all hours of the day,” said Abu Awad.

“I feel that beyond my personal drive to treat patients and save lives, I have an additional mission of not only driving the ambulance, but also of being a first responder and riding the Medi-cycle in Magen David Adom, Israel's National Emergency Medical and Blood Services. I am proud and honored to be the first female Druze first responder on a Medi-cycle. It is my hope that more women from the Druze community will join the organization, and I am sure I will not be the only one to be a first responder and ride a Medi-cycle."

Abbas Abu Awad, the mayor of Balkees’ hometown of Buq’ata, lauded her at the ceremony and touted his town’s close cooperation with MDA.

"I was honored to attend the ceremony and extend my best wishes to the first female Druze Medi-cycle first responder in Israel, who as part of Magen David Adom will undoubtedly save many lives. In our community of Buq'ata we have many MDA volunteers, and I am proud of our cooperation with MDA and the care provided in our area. It is said, 'he who saves one life, is thought to have saved an entire world'".

Yarden First Responders Unit Coordinator Dudu Berger said Abu Awad’s work as a medi-cycle driver would help cut response times in the Golan Heights.

"The ceremony in Buq'ata was very exciting. Reducing response times is something that MDA continuously strives for and is possible by our volunteers who give of their time and are saving lives around the clock."

"Balkees is breaking new ground for MDA as the first female Druze Medi-cycle first responder and is motivated to save lives day and night,” said Yarden Regional Director Oren Avitan. “She will provide care in communities around Golan such as Massade, Ein Kannya, and Majdal Shams and significantly shorten response times."

MDA Director General Eli Bin: "Balkees Abu Awad is one of many women paving the way in Magen David Adom. Her motivation to save lives began at a young age and is worthy of the highest praise. We wish her all the best on joining MDA's Medi-cycles Unit."