By: Christina Torrealba (she/her), Graduate Student in Community Health and Epidemiology
Said Msabaha, Associate Director of Community Engagement and Diversity Programs, is leaving Dalhousie after seventeen years, with eleven of those years spent at the Office of Community Partnerships and Global Health (formerly the Global Health Office). Said is a cherished friend to many, and will certainly be missed around the office. I had the chance to chat with Said about his journey at Dalhousie, global health, and some of his favourite moments over the years.
I have been fortunate to have worked for 11 great years at the Global Health Office (now Office of Community Partnership & Global Health) with fabulous colleagues and learners. I will take these experiences with me as I travel through my new chapter in life.”
With experience working at the Patrick Power Library upon graduating from Saint Mary’s University, Said began his journey at Dalhousie on October 26th, 2005 at the Killam Memorial Library. “I remember this very clearly because at that time, it wasn’t easy for a recent international student graduate to secure full-time employment right after graduation”, Said says.
Said began his career at Dal as evening supervisor at Access Services where he worked with a diverse group of student assistants and full-time staff members. “It’s at the Killam where I met many people from across the globe, whom I’ve been able to maintain relationships with, such as Mohanad Khairy, Shashank Kamble and MaryPam Vincer, just to mention a few”, says Said, “I have met great people at Dalhousie through my 17-year career and I will always cherish this as I retire from public service.”
In 2011, Said began his journey at the Global Health Office, first as the Coordinator for International Student Programs and later as Manager. In this position, he managed international electives for students in medicine, health, and dentistry, in addition to coordinating international students and International Medical Graduates. He then spent two years working at the International Centre at Dal, before returning to the Global Health Office. During his time here, Said has watched the office expand and change, with the additions of programs like PLANS and Keknu’tmasiek Welo’ltimk, and has been a part of change and addressing disparities in health at the community and institutional level. “I have always been passionate about politics and social justice”, Said says.
When asked what his favourite event or collaboration has been over the years, Said told me that he could not pick just one, “my most memorable moments at the Global Health Office are the people – students, staff, faculty and community members!” he says. Said says that he plans to stay connected with the Global Health Office and the Dalhousie community: “they’re not getting rid of me!”.
For Said, the best word that describes global health is compassion. “Compassion is a natural part of who we are as human beings, and I would argue that compassion builds collaboration and commitment to addressing disparities in health and wealth impacting our glocal communities”’ he says.
I’ll let Said’s words conclude this blogpost,
I’m grateful to have worked with some wonderful folks during my professional career both at my Alma Mater (Saint Mary’s University) and here at Dalhousie. I believe in relationship building and this will continue to be my work philosophy as I retire from public service. So, let me conclude by thanking a few people who made my professional career possible in Nova Scotia: Dr. Ibrahim and Zainab Msabaha, Danielle Lewis-Msabaha, Bonnie Best-Fleming, Ken Clare, Susan Cannon, Sandra Dwyer, James Kennedy, and finally, Shawna O’Hearn.”
We wish you the best of luck Said, we will miss you!