Professor Hagr talks to journalist Gina Phillips about his personal life, his time away from home in Canada and what "exploring" means to him.
“Every second of our life is a new exploration”
Gina Phillips interviews Professor Hagr
As we are exploring a lot of your life right now, what does “Explore Life” mean to you?
Well, Explore Life, for me it's adventures that you need to explore. To have a reason for everything that is going on and to try to minimize any risk that goes along with having new ideas, from trying something different, changing your practice and understanding the perspective of our patients regarding their problems. So, to me, almost every second of our life is a new exploration.
What do you consider to be the biggest exploration in your life so far?
The most difficult exploration was moving to Canada and exploring a different life. At my time, there was no internet, there was no experience. I went from the middle of the desert to the middle of Canada, Montreal. It's colder – no comparison!
And actually, I wrote a book about someone who moved away from Saudi Arabia and spent six years in Canada. I wrote about my perspectives and the cultural shock I faced in a way that people would understand that in that time it was not easy! Nowadays, with internet and TV channels, you can almost explore everything. But for us, it was really adventurous! And going abroad with my family for the first time wasn't easy.
Do you think moving to Canada changed you?
It changed me a lot! I think I was a hesitant person, only looking into medicine and to treat my patients. Nothing else should be in my life, except my family.
But when I went to Canada, I started to have a lot of friends, exploring these new cities, having something that we never saw before, like snow, and a lot of things that changed me. So, I really thank the people there! I think it's my second home and I would always love to go back again!
Now when it comes to exploring something, I think it takes a certain amount of curiosity: How important has curiosity been in your work but also in your free time?
I think at the early age, I was hesitant as I said and now I'm even more hesitant [laughs] but at the age between 20 and 40 I think this is the time you would try everything. You would love to explore and to try different things. This kind of adrenaline in your blood – you would like to keep it always high! So, I would advise anyone in this age to try and see what things he could discover in an early age that would really make a difference in his future. For me it was a wonderful time, I'm still a guy who would like to discover, explore and see different options, but not as before, because of limited time.
Absolutely! well, I hope you keep exploring and thank you for your wise words today, professor Hagr, thanks for sitting down with me!