A Syrian born doctor, who has been risking his life to provide medical care to residents of Aleppo, has earned a scholarship at Brown University, according to ABC News.

Khaled Almilaji, who was born in Aleppo, received a scholarship to earn a master’s degree in public health. He has been living in Rhode Island on a visa since August, ABC reported. Almilaji attended medical school in the nearby city of Latakia and specializes in disorders of the ear, nose and throat.

Almilaji was preparing to move to Germany for a residency appointment in March 2011 when anti-government protests began in Syria, according to ABC. He decided to stay in Syria, treating protestors who could have been “arrested or killed if they went to government-run hospitals,” as he told ABC News.

In September 2011Almilaji was arrested, interrogated, tortured and sentenced to six months in prison. Despite this, he continued to care for protestors and their families, eventually escaping to Turkey with his parents in April 2012.

Before earning his scholarship, Almilaji wasa translator in Turkish hospitals and worked to increase the amount of medical suppliessent into Syria. He also successfully coordinated a polio vaccination campaign that reached over 1.4 million children in the country, ABC reported.

While in Providence, R.I., Almilaji is also working with the Canadian International Medical Relief Organization to establish safer health facilities in Syria and to train medical workers, according to the report. He is one of three Syrian doctors to receive the scholarship at Brown.

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