Dr. Han Hanafy, an urologist and specialist in sexual medicine, is moving to North Carolina from Harrisburg to be closer to his children.
Hanafy has lived and practiced in Harrisburg since 1974.
"I am not leaving by choice. It is a family matter. I want to be closer to my son and daughter. My son is a lawyer and my daughter is a store owner. I will be moving to Raleigh, N.C., and will live only two hours from my son," Hanafy said.
Hanafy and his wife, Hoda, lost their home in the Feb. 29, 2012, tornado and have not rebuilt, but that is not the main reason for the move, Hanafy said.
"The tornado really had little to do with my decision to move. It was just the right time," he said.
His home at 23 Peach Tree Place, Harrisburg, was severely damaged on Feb. 29, 2012, when a pre-dawn tornado flattened a large part of Harrisburg.
"It only took 30 seconds. It made an ugly noise, like a train. I left my bedroom and in the next room, I was looking at the sky," Hanafy said.
Help for his family came from local volunteers and people from out of state.
"The volunteers were wonderful. We had our belongings packed in boxes and moved within 10 days. My challenge when I get to North Carolina will be locating things. Nobody thought to label any of the boxes. But the volunteers were wonderful, very generous with time and material," he said.
Hanafy is very accomplished in his field. He has performed 850 penile implant surgeries. He has published many articles in the Journal of Sexual Medicine and sits on the publication's board. Hanafy earned his medical degree at the University of Alexandria in Egypt. He immigrated to the U.S. in 1967 and became a citizen in 1974. He speaks at conferences and authors books and scientific articles.
He was practicing in Harrisburg in 1998 when Viagra hit the market. Local media had him in the spotlight. He is currently writing a book about his specialty in sexual medicine, the testicles.
His research has uncovered some stories of interest.
"Did you know that a female cross-dresser was elected Pope in 853 A.D.? Look it up. Pope Joan. She served for two years before being discovered," said Hanafy.
A search of the Internet revealed that a novel and movie about Pope Joan have been created, though the Catholic Encyclopedia and a consensus of modern scholars relegate her to medieval legend.
Nonetheless, Hanafy points out that many books have been written and a movie has been made about the legend. The author of one book, John Stanford, claims he found the chair with a hole in it hidden away at the Vatican according to Hanafy. According to the story, following the discovery of Pope Joan's true sex, it is claimed that all papal candidates had to sit in the chair and have their privates verified before being officially named Pope.
Page 2 of 2 - Hanafy is closing his office at 404 N. Commercial St. on Aug. 31. He plans to move to Raleigh, N.C., at some point in September.