Abu Dhabi: Fifteen Muslim schoolchildren donated Dh900 from their own savings to help put smiles back on the faces of 11 injured Iraqi children in hospital in Abu Dhabi.
Gifts and a cot were exchanged among the parents of the 11 injured youngsters, nine of whom have already undergone open heart surgery.
Farida Seddiqai, teacher and Muslim scholar to the 15 children told Gulf News the motive behind donating this money was to encourage Muslim children to help the ill, less fortunate and needy. These children were granted a second chance of survival when three Iraqi brothers founded the Society for Welfare and Education of Iraqi Children a year ago and decided to offer improved medical treatment for young injured victims of the war in Iraq.
In January 2007, founder of the society, Nasier Shamma, approached President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan regarding the matter and an instant decision to host 80 injured Iraqi children was made through the Red Crescent Authority (RCA) in Abu Dhabi.
"Thanks to the President and aid from the RCA we managed to offer updated medical treatment for our injured children. This is our first batch of 11 injured youngsters and more are to hopefully be cured throughout the coming months," said one of the brothers and Managing Director for the Iraqi society, Nabeel Shamma.
The most common health problems among Iraqi children include deformities and burns along with heart problems, mostly caused due to pregnant women being exposed to radiation. Rehab Mohammad, aged a year and three months had her heart operated on 10 days ago.
"We have no medical equipment in Iraq to handle her case. I am grateful she's been given a second chance here," said Rehab's mother, Eman Mohammad.
Five-year-old twins, Rokie and Mayada Anees were born with a congenital hip dislocation, suffer from brain damage and are unable to speak. Their mother Jumana Anees told Gulf News the twins were operated on and stood a chance to be able to walk but need follow-up care and physiotherapy.
"Their father died in the war and I am alone."
Nineteen-year-old Hoda's body is covered with third-degree burns after a bomb landed in her front yard less than two years ago. She was hospitalised for three months in Al Mafraq where she had three operations. She is due to have another three operations on her stomach, legs and hands.
"She is much better now... In Iraq they only managed to clean the burnt skin, that was the maximum they could offer. Hoda is psychologically much better now and can go back to school and start her normal life once again," said Hoda's mother.
The youngsters have undergone operations and medical check-ups at Shaikh Khalifa Medical City and Al Mafraq Hospital.