May 3, 2005 Alaa' Khalid Hamdan was severely injured when a U.S. tank round slammed into her family's home in Al Qaim, Iraq. It was around three in the afternoon, and the children were having a tea party. Two of Alaa's brothers and three of her cousins were killed, all children under ten years of age. Fourteen women and children were killed or injured in the attack, which occurred while the men were at work.
Alaa' was peppered with shrapnel in her legs, abdomen and chest, and urgently needed an operation to save her eyesight. Micro-shrapnel from the US tank round was embedded in both eyes, and her retina was detached. If the fragments were not removed soon, she faced a lifetime of blindness. We received her medical reports in June of 2005.
No medical services were provided by the US military for Alaa' or her injured mother. Alaa's impending blindness was of no consequence to occupation authorities.
Ashley Severance, a 22-year-old law student from Melbourne, Florida, contacted NMV and offered to help. She worked for months to set up pro-bono medical care in Orlando. Dr. Saad Shaik, a gifted retinal surgeon, agreed to provide his services free of charge. Alan Pogue traveled to meet Alaa' and her father in Amman, Jordan, helped them the difficult and time-consuming process of obtaining medical visas, and accompanied them to Orlando. They arrived in November, 2005.
As reported in the Orange County Register : "A surgery in Orlando to remove micro-shrapnel from her eyes and reattach her retina was successful. The surgeon there said if the eyes had gone untreated a few more days, she would have been blinded forever."
Alaa' also received expert surgical treatment at Children's Hospital of Orange, California, where Dr. Ali Kavianian repaired an abdominal hernia that was caused by shrapnel. We are grateful to the hospital staff and Dr. Kavianian for their skill and generosity.
As a people, we should ask ourselves how many children were blinded during the time Alaa' was here for medical care -- and how we can permit such outrages to be inflicted on the Iraqi people in our name. This project, which combined the efforts of a small handful of people, showed what can be done to assist the children who have been maimed and mutliated in the neocon's war of aggression.
And why is medical care still unavailable for children injured in US attacks? How can war profiteers closely associated with administration still be stealing from us and the Iraqis? Those are questions NMV hopes you will take up with government officials.
We must end this brutal colonial war -- and stop the next one.
Above Asraa' Mizyad
Asraa' Mizyad was severely injured in a U.S. missile attack on the morning of January 25, 1999. She had just finished a test at the Al Najed primary school and was walking home from school with two friends and a cousin when the missile struck. Her friends and her cousin were killed; Asraa' was the most severely injured survivor of the attack. A large piece of shrapnel severed her right arm below the shoulder and she suffered chest and abdominal wounds. A metal fragment remains lodged in her skull, a souvenir of the american empire; doctors could not remove it for fear of killing her. Asraa was nine years old. (Read More)
Source: NO More Victim's