May 24, 2004

Update...story worth reading.

Remember this story about seven guys who had their hands chopped off by Saddam? There's a heartwarming update in the WaPo:

... Last week, the men had recovered enough for the final fitting of their bionic hands, microprocessor-assisted marvels that receive instructions from the brain via electrodes attached to muscles in the arm. The Iraqis are training themselves to fire the right muscles to control hand functions, a process that will take months. Already, they can throw balls, shake hands, raise a glass.

Agris and North will go back to Baghdad with the seven in early June to make sure they have the proper medical support. Agris has arranged to visit other amputees, and he will help Baghdad hospitals upgrade their knowledge about amputations and prosthetics.

"The thing that'll win hearts and minds is the humanitarian effort, not guns," Agris said. "You take care of someone's child, not only do you help the child but you win over the family. And the family talks to the neighbors and you win over the neighbors. It just escalates."

He thinks Al Fadhly, Joudi, Kadhim, Salah and the other three men -- Laith Aggar, Hassan Al Gereawy and Al'aa Hassan -- will change some minds, too.

"I think we're going to see a ripple effect, especially with a guy like Al Fadhly who's got a job working for the coalition's new TV station. They're bringing back a different attitude, a different look." ...

Seven Iraqi amputees

Outside Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison are, from left, Qasim Kadhim, Salah Zinad, Nazaar Joudi, Laith Aggar, Al'aa Hassan and Basim Al Fadhly. They and three others were ordered by Saddam Hussein to have their hands amputated in 1995.
Photo Credit: Don North

Posted by John Weidner at May 24, 2004 8:54 PM
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