Popularised by French writer Marcel Proust at the end of the 19th century, the Proust Questionnaire is a rapidfire question and answer interview meant to give the reader insight into one’s personality, and if you’re lucky, a small glimpse into one’s true self. In this issue we caught up with Doctor Ahmed Gomaa, who was recently appointed as medical director of ORBIS’ Flying Eye Hospital, a fully equipped teaching facility inside a DC-10 aircraft. Its mission is to transfer skills to empower local medical teams in developing countries so they can provide the eye care their community needs.

Gomaa is currently in Zambia leading the first Flying Eye Hospital Program in Ndola, in the Copper-belt province. ORBIS is supporting Zambia in its target to eliminate avoidable blindness by the year 2020. One of its main priorities is to deal with childhood blindness, which afflicts an estimated 1.4 million children worldwide. One in five of these children live in Sub-Saharan Africa and £19 is all it costs to give a patient their sight back.

For more information about Gomaa and the organization, check out: www.orbis.org.uk.

WHAT IS YOUR IDEA OF PERFECT HAPPINESS?

Perfect happiness is when you go to bed at night, safe in your house, having food for the family and health in your body.

WHAT’S YOUR GREATEST FEAR?

I am usually afraid of causing any harm to someone who trusted me.

WHAT TURNS YOU ON CREATIVELY?

Walking for one hour, exercising and DIY activities.

WHICH WORDS OR PHRASES DO YOU OVERUSE?

‘Influence’, ‘involve’, ‘affects’, ‘great’, ‘thank you’, ‘appreciate it’, ‘we will see’ and ‘anyway’.

IF YOU COULD HAVE ONE SUPERPOWER, WHAT WOULD IT BE AND WHY?

I will definitely choose the ability to cure all ailments.

WHAT IS THE ALBUM OR SONG THAT INFLUENCES YOU THE MOST?

Everybody’s Free to Wear Sunscreen, and My Heart will Go On

WHEN AND WHERE WERE YOU HAPPIEST?

In Cairo, Egypt when I proposed to my wife. The second was when I knew that I got the scholarship at last to study in London after applying for three years.

IF YOU WERE A MIND READER, WHOSE MIND WOULD YOU LIKE TO READ?

My children’s minds.

IF YOU COULD TRAVEL TO ANY POINT IN TIME, WHICH ERA WOULD YOU VISIT?

Year 2100 – and the world will be completely different place.

WHAT IS YOUR MOST MARKED CHARACTERISTIC?

Truthful, optimistic and a believer.

WHAT DO YOU MOST VALUE IN YOUR FRIENDS?

Honesty and sincerity.

WHO IS YOUR HERO OF FICTION?

Mel Gibson, in Brave Heart.

WHO ARE YOUR HEROES IN REAL LIFE?

My wife is my big hero. She is my friend, consultant and carer.

WHERE WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO LIVE?

Alexandria, Egypt

WHAT IS THE TRAIT YOU MOST DEPLORE IN YOURSELF?

Believing my first impressions, and my inability to de-stress properly.

WHAT IS THE TRAIT YOU MOST DEPLORE IN OTHERS?

Vulgarity, lying and stupidity

HOW WOULD YOU MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE?

By being fair.

WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER YOUR GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT?

It has not happened yet.

WHAT DO YOU REGARD AS THE LOWEST DEPTH OF MISERY?

Someone in pain, when we know it is terminal. We resume our normal life but he/she has to live with it every day.

WHAT IS YOUR MOST TREASURED POSSESSION?

My heart.

WHAT’S YOUR MOTTO?

Try, try and try again.