Ever since he was 18, when Omar Danoun started med school, they’ve called him “doctor.” Friends and family, cousins and neighbors — everyone in Rantis, the West Bank village he’s lived in his whole life. It’s a close-knit population of around 3,000, belonging to six clans and spread over a little more than 100 acres of arid, rocky hillside, dotted with olive trees that cut hard shadows in the ochre earth. The carved-stone ruins of Roman wells and cisterns abound, traces of a centuries-long history of human habitation. Donkeys graze at the outskirts of town, and nearby a small brown dog lopes after a chicken, yapping as he goes. A group of giggling children sends a soccer ball skidding across a concrete roadway in the last of the fading daylight.

To the west, just over the next ridge from Rantis, lies the Green Line, the border separating the West Bank and Israel. A wire fence and gravel track run along the ridge; on the other side, the Israeli military conducts training exercises, and occasionally the flat crack of automatic weapons fire echoes dully in the valley. From the village summit one can look over the ridge and the wall, to the far horizon and the rising skyline of Tel Aviv, and beyond it, the placid immensity of the Mediterranean Sea.

Omar has lived here his entire 26 years, and they call him doctor now because that is what he does. He ministers to the sick, helps to heal the afflicted: the work of doctors everywhere. Tall and slender, with dark, closely cropped hair and beard, he has a quiet intensity as he attends to his fellow villagers, farmers mostly, whether they need just a quick checkup or immediate attention, something that can’t wait for the 45-minute drive over dusty roads to Ramallah, the nearest city. Children, adults, everyone.