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Former local doctor names Ontario practice after Bonavista

Dr. Mahdi Ibrahim in Bonavista. Ibrahim has named his Ontario medical centre after the Newfoundland town where he practised for six years.
Dr. Mahdi Ibrahim in Bonavista. Ibrahim has named his Ontario medical centre after the Newfoundland town where he practised for six years.

BRANTFORD, ONT. — While Dr. Mahdi Ibrahim left Newfoundland and Labrador four years ago to practice in Ontario — he brought a piece of Bonavista with him when naming his health centre in Brantford.

Ibrahim and his wife, Dr. Luma Jawad.

It’s called, “The Bonavista Medical Centre” in honour of the place he formerly called home.
Ibrahim told The Packet, he named the Centre after Bonavista because of the great impression the area left on him.
“At first, coming from Iraq, and feeling unsafe, lost, confused — and then you come to such a beautiful community,” he said. “Everybody is nice, warm, they take you just like they know you forever. If it were my decision, I wouldn’t leave ever.”
He says, while the physical beauty of the region was memorable, the people were the best part of his stay in Bonavista.
Both Ibrahim and his wife, Dr. Luma Jawad, were physicians in the Bonavista Peninsula Health Care Centre for six years.
Ibrahim got his medical degree in his native country of Iraq in 1992 at Baghdad University.
When he eventually moved to Canada in 2006, he stayed in Harbour Breton for 10 days, before accepting a position and settling in Bonavista.
He’s now been in Ontario for four years, living in Oakville. He says a lot of his wife’s family are nearby. And Ibrahim and Jawad have a 21 year-old son attending university in Sudbury and a 17 year-old daughter who both enjoy living in Ontario.
But his son even considered returning to Newfoundland to attend Memorial University, before deciding on Sudbury.
The practice in Brantford is actually the second “Bonavista Medical Centre” as Ibrahim previously had a practice in Hamilton bearing the same name.
And it’s not only the name on the sign outside that honours the Bonavista area — each of the five rooms in the Centre are named after a different area on the Bonavista Peninsula: Bonavista, Catalina, Port Union, Trinity and Clarenville.
And since opening the Bonavista-named clinic, many of his friends from Newfoundland expressed their support upon seeing the name via Facebook.
“Lots of people messaged me or texted me, and say ‘Oh, we miss you also!’ Very nice people.”
Every now and then, his patients in Ontario will ask “What does Bonavista mean?” Ibrahim is only too happy to show off the beauty of Bonavista with pictures and videos throughout the clinic as an explanation.
‘They think I’m a Newfie now,” he laughed.
And after spending six years in Bonavista, and carrying his love of Newfoundland and Labrador with him to Ontario — he certainly is.

jonathan.parsons@thepacket.ca
Twitter: @jejparsons

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