Amid the backdrop of recent tensions between Jews and Arabs in Israel, Ramat Gan's Sheba Medical Center - just east of Tel Aviv - appears to be an absolute oasis of coexistence.
"I think that the minute that people come into the borders of the hospital all these boundaries come off," says Lua Kormata, a resident physician at the hospital's emergency department.
According to Kormata, on the job, medical workers and patients alike look beyond the religious and political differences with the focus purely on the industry, on treatment, on patients, on solutions.
"When an Arab physician, a Muslim physician comes in to check the patient, the boundary that they have is outside of the hospital. They look at you only as a physician, as the main caregiver," Kormata says.
With Israel's political situation, there is often a lack of awareness of the possibility of cooperation and the success that can come from that partnership.
Staffers at Sheba recognize that coexistence is about individual compromises and friendships.
"We always try to say that it's okay. It's okay to be different. It's okay to be together. Something which from my point of view should be obvious, but sadly it isn't," says Lena Ahmad, a nurse in internal medicine at Sheba.
Lena's friend and Ultra-Orthodox colleague, Noa Pakter is the head of community relations and patient experience at Sheba, and often holds workshops on coexistence and on awareness of other cultures.
"I lecture on ultra-Orthodox culture, the community from which I come from. I'm an ultra-Orthodox woman and I lecture on the community's sensitivities and the conflicts they have here at the hospital," Pakter says.
Sheba offers an example of the multi-faceted, positive impact that can come from the power of working together.
"I think that the field of medicine in Israel and the entire world hopefully can serve as a great example of peace," says Dr. Scott Ehrenberg, resident physician at Sheba.
Story republished with permission from i24NEWS