Noor Obaid has walked the streets of Iraq with her head down because she’s self-conscious and embarrassed about her lazy left eye, blinded and scarred by shrapnel three-and-a-half years ago.
The U.S. military attacked 19-year-old Obaid and her family as they drove along a Fallujah highway in August 2004, she told a group of Americans raising money for her medical treatment. Obaid’s uncle died, shrapnel lodged in her mother’s chest, and metal shards ripped into her eye.
Fellow Iraqis wouldn’t drive them to the hospital because they were intimidated by the U.S. soldiers’ presence at the checkpoint, she recalled. Finally, the troops left and they were taken to the hospital, where she was given pain pills.
After suffering day after day since then, Obaid will finally be able to lift her head.
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About a week ago, doctors removed the damaged, sagging eye to prepare the socket for a prosthetic replacement, a procedure that’s being funded by residents in El Portal, Mariposa and Chico through No More Victims. The replacement will match the almond pupil of her other eye and its movements.
The international relief organization based in Los Angeles works to help the innocent victims injured from the United States’ invasion in Iraq.
By doing so, they hope to show that compassion for Iraqis exists among many Americans and to break the cycle of violence, founding director Cole Miller said.
“Cause and effect continue to exist,” he said. “There are people who are going to want to get revenge. It’s a natural human reaction.”