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MONDAY, AUGUST 7, 2006
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EDITORIAL

Deaf 3-year-old Iraqi girl finds that Americans care

We wish the United States could provide for all children the kind of help and hope it is offering a deaf 3-year-old Iraqi girl named Amina.

Amina is the daughter of Mohammed, a Baghdad painter. One of his friends contacted a friend in the United States. American doctors got involved, as did the U.S. Army in Iraq and the Miami-based International Kids Fund. Her problem was diagnosed at an Army hospital in Baghdad's Green Zone that once served the family of Saddam Hussein.

Amina and Mohammed are already in Miami, and the IKF is trying to raise $40,000 to pay for a cochlear implant to be placed surgically in Amina's ear. Dr. Thomas Balkany of the University of Miami has agreed to do the surgery, according to The Associated Press.

"We fully expect her to live a normal life once she goes back to Iraq," Dr. Balkany said.

But he implicitly acknowledged that "normal" is an odd word to associate with life in Iraq. "In the midst of all this horrible killing that's going on," he said, people are taking "time to care about this one little deaf girl."

In Iraq, being close to Americans can get you killed. Mohammed asked that his last name not be revealed to protect him from retribution.

Mohammed said that, from watching American military people in Iraq, he knows that "Americans like children and they like to help them, and they like to provide for their health and safety."

It's the truth, but many people in the world don't have that impression of Americans. Pray for the day when we will devote much more time and wealth to helping children and much less to making war.

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