A SURGEON who has served the borough for more than 20 years is retiring – and releasing a book to mark the milestone.

Amir Al-Dabbagh has been a surgeon at Trafford General Hospital for more than 20 years, and at Manchester Royal Infirmary for almost 10 years since the two were brought into the same NHS Trust.

Mr Al-Dabbagh, who lives on Salisbury Road in Urmston, looks back on his career in the borough with a lot of contentment.

The 74-year-old told The Messenger: "I’ve enjoyed my work tremendously serving the community of Trafford.

“Besides, I was an undergraduate tutor for 12 years. I’ll always recall those years with feelings of satisfaction.”

On December 10, Mr Al-Dabbagh is releasing a book about his experiences as a surgeon, although not those in the borough.

This is because before he came to Trafford, he lived and worked in Northern Iraq.

After training in the city of Mosul, Mr Al-Dabbagh’s career started in around 1970.

Between 1980 and 1994, he was in Erbil, the biggest city in Kurdistan and therefore the centre of the northern region’s fight for independence from the rest of Iraq.

He worked as a surgeon and as the dean of a medical college against a backdrop of trouble and violence until a threat to his own life forced him to flee the country.

It is those experiences he relives in his book, Surgery in Turbulent Mesopotamia.

A description of the book reads: “This memoir is a collection of thoughts and experiences of the medical profession through times of war and inner turmoil, fleeing as a refugee and collected wisdom on undergraduate and postgraduate training as well as good practice in patient care and surgery. The author reflects on the importance of family and friends and a genuine love of Erbil and Iraq, a beautiful country overflowing with history and welcoming people. Ultimately, nothing would have forced him to leave Erbil but the direct threat on his life.”

Once the book is released, Mr Al-Dabbagh is moving to Canada, near to Toronto.