SaltWire E-Edition

Lewisporte doctor staying, but won’t tolerate abuse

Dr. Gerges Ambarak says his family has been subjected to racism in the community for the past two years


CORNER BROOK — Dr. Gerges Ambarak and his family have decided to stay in Lewisporte, but the physician says he won’t put up with abuse any longer.

He also called upon the town, provincial government and school board to do a better job at making Lewisporte Intermediate a safe and welcoming space for everyone.

The family doctor took time off his practice earlier this month after alleging, via a social media post, that his daughter had been verbally and physically attacked at school.

The RCMP has confirmed it investigated an incident at the school and that a student has been charged with assault.

Citing that his family has been subjected to racism from certain members of the community for the last two years, Ambarak said he would take time away from work to contemplate his family’s future in Lewisporte.

In another social media post on Saturday, Ambarak announced that the outpouring of support for him and his family has convinced him to stay and to continue serving the community.

“I will stay strong because of your support,” he said in a video posted on his Facebook account.

However, he is returning “with no tolerance at all to any type of abuse or racism anymore,” he continued.

“We already tolerated that for more than two years

now,” said Ambarak. “Whatever happened, we tolerated it, but I am returning back with zero tolerance for any type of abuse anymore.”


Ambarak said it’s crucial that the school system be improved to ensure a safe environment for students, including being able to respond

more immediately to incidents of verbal and physical abuse.

“I am a Newfoundlander now and I will start to try to make any changes to the system, but I can’t do it alone,” he said. “I need your support. I need your support for our kids. Our kids deserve … better. Our kids should be protected in the school. You should feel safe when you drop off your kids to the school.”


Ambarak also raised concerns about the infrastructure needs of Lewisporte Intermediate. He said the floors, walls and heating system all need work.

“Imagine if the heat system is down during the winter,” he said.

He called upon the levels of government to carry out the necessary work to fix the problems he cited. He even pledged $5,000 of his own money for the cause and urged others to donate whatever they can if they are able to do so.

“I think I started to put the light on the main problem and I hope that I can make a difference,” said Ambarak. “I hope that I can make a change, but … I can’t make this change and improvement without your support.”

Ambarak was unavailable for an interview with Saltwire as of deadline Monday.

Saltwire has also asked the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District to respond to Ambarak’s calls for improved student safety at schools and for infrastructure improvements at Lewisporte Intermediate, and is awaiting a reply.





SaltWire Network