Wednesday, January 24, 2007

The Painful Smile

Yesterday, President Bush gave his 2008 State of the Union Address. I didn't waste my time listening to a predictable speech followed by a predictable response from his opponents. I have better things to do with my time.

Americans are divided over the President's plan to send extra troops to Iraq. I think it's too late to try and fix the current situation in Iraq with extra 20,000 soldiers. I wish those measures were taken back in 2003 or 2004 when Iraqis were still hopeful about the changes in Iraq.

Too many mistakes were made in Iraq during the last four years. Earlier this year (or was it toward the end of last year?), the President went on TV to take responsibility of the mistakes made in Iraq. Again, I wish the President listened earlier to the critical voices about his mismanagement of the war in Iraq.

Iraqi children suffered the most from the current war in Iraq. Iraqi children in "the new Iraq" aren't fortunate enough to enjoy a normal life. I've yet to see an American or Iraqi politician consider the miserable life of the Iraqi Children when (s)he makes a decision related to the future of Iraq.


Mohammad Shamseddine/ © Gulf News

Saif Ebrahim with his mother.


As Gulf News put it, UAE offers hope for injured Iraqi children, including Saif Ebrahim:


Abu Dhabi: His burnt face and body and deformed hands did not prevent Saif Ebrahim, 4, from smiling for the camera. A smile that signifies hope for him and 54 other children who were flown in from Iraq for treatment by the Red Crescent Authority (RCA).

Saif was in his home in Baghdad with his mother Nashtaman in December 2005, when a bomb exploded in the neighbourhood. There was no electricity and the house was lit by a kerosene lamp, his mother told Gulf News.

"The lamp, due to pressure from the explosion, fell on Saif, burnt him and deformed his face and hands," said Nashtaman, who was sitting in an RCA ambulance with her son, waiting to be moved to Al Mafraq Hospital for treatment.

About 55 children, aged three months to 15 years flew into Emiri Airport in Abu Dhabi yesterday afternoon.

I choose Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan as the star thrower of the week and here's why:

The children, along with their parents, are the third batch of Iraqis to be treated in the UAE, following the directives from President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the follow up of Shaikh Hamdan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the RCA.

"It's a humanitarian message we are sending to our brothers in Iraq; that we feel what they are feeling and that we have been and still are with them," said Khalifa Nasser Al Suwaidi, RCA Board Chairman.
[...]
The children were not "physically' injured by the war, but rather "psychologically injured," said Dr Saleh Al Ta'ei, rescue and emergency head at the RCA, who flew to Iraq and back to Abu Dhabi accompanying the children.

Every Iraqi, excluding the crazy folks fighting for power and destruction, are psychologically injured. I left Iraq 13 years ago. But, I still have nightmares of war and missing peace in Iraq. I can't even imagine what goes in the mind of an Iraqi child these days.

Despite the pain of severe burns, Saif is able to smile. Maybe our politicians can learn to become passionate by looking into Saif's burned eyes. A wall can even learn from the cries of miserable children while politicians won't.
 

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