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Six year old Mariam Hamza is blessed and cursed: she was born with a face whose innocence haunts, yet born in Iraq during a time of Saddam and sanctions. She arrived in Pittsburgh yesterday, for cancer treatment, where she is expected to remain for several weeks. Our thoughts are with her. In the same vein, a Franciscan Sister wrote from Jordan yesterday of a little refugee whose case, sadly, may not be atypical. Our thoughts are with her, too. The toll for sanctions among children runs far deeper than the 500,000 excess deaths UNICEF reports. === <http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/letters/2000/0815/index.htm> The Irish Times Aug. 15, 2000 Letters to the Editor SANCTIONS AGAINST IRAQ Sir - I have lived in Jordan now for the past nine years and have seen the effects of the economic sanctions on the Iraqi people, both here in Jordan and in Iraq itself. I agree with Niall Andrews (The Irish Times, August 7th) that life under sanctions cannot be called life. It is merely a living hell for most people. I visited Iraq in May and while I had to endure the lack of electricity in 40C heat for only 10 days, the people of Iraq have endured this and much worse for the past 10 years. Everywhere I heard stories of lack of medicine and food. One woman told us that her family had searched all of the north of the country for blood-bags to give blood to her 34-year-old brother who had leukemia. They had blood but no bags. There is no point in repeating what Mr Andrews said so well but it needs to be noted that thousands of Iraqis have fled the country, many making their home illegally here in Jordan. These people, women mostly, live nine or 10 to a room and make a living by selling cigarettes in the market. It is a sad revelation to me that a five-year-old child who has worked on the streets selling cigarettes and begging for the past two years is the sole earner on whom her five siblings and her mother depends. Sadder still is that this child feels this is a normal life. Although she is in school now, thanks to the generosity of the local parish, she is now for the summer back selling cigarettes at the traffic lights. I thank Mr Andrews for raising this issue and pray that some solution will be found. For surely no one can seriously think that the starving of a nation and the decimation of its moral and social fabric can have any results save the destruction of a country and the slaughter of its innocents. - Yours, etc., MARY BURKE, Franciscan Missionary of the Divine Motherhood, Amman, Jordan. === <http://www.post-gazette.com/healthscience/20000816girl5.asp> Iraqi girl arrives here for cancer treatment Wednesday, August 16, 2000 By The Associated Press A 6-year-old girl who has become a symbol for Iraqis living under sanctions arrived at Pittsburgh International Airport yesterday afternoon and could remain in the region for several weeks while being treated for cancer. Mariam Hamza landed in Pittsburgh with her grandmother, Fatin Hamid, on a flight from New York City. Royal Jordanian Airlines arranged a free flight for them from Amman, Jordan, to New York, said Mark Clement, a spokesman for the religious Bruderhof Community in Farmington, Fayette County, where the girl and her grandmother will stay. Mariam was granted a visa by the U.S. Embassy in Jordan following several appeals from American congressmen and humanitarian groups, said a statement from the Mariam Appeal Campaign. Fawaz Zureikat, the Jordanian chairman of the campaign, said the embassy approved the visas for humanitarian reasons despite sanctions on Iraq. The girl first came to international attention when she was treated for leukemia in Scotland in 1998. Her treatment was initiated by George Galloway, a member of the British Parliament, who spotted her in a Baghdad hospital during a trip designed to publicize the effects of sanctions on ordinary Iraqis. A pediatrician in Greensburg, Ali Aboosi, has donated his services. Mariam is expected to receive further diagnostic evaluations at Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh. Galloway launched the Mariam Appeal Campaign last year and toured Europe, North Africa and the Middle East on a double-deck bus to highlight the plight of Iraqis under U.N. sanctions imposed on the country for its 1990 invasion of Kuwait. === -----Original Message----- From: Rania Masri [mailto:email@example.com] Sent: Tuesday, August 15, 2000 9:34 AM To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: [IAC] A famous Iraqi child, Mariam Hamza, will arrive at Pittsburgh , Int'L Airport on August 15 From: Mark Clement <MClement@bruderhof.com> News Release: www.mariamappeal.com In the United States: Mark Clement at 724-329-8573 e-mail: email@example.com A famous Iraqi child, Mariam Hamza, will arrive at Pittsburgh International Airport on August 15 August 14, 2000. Pittsburgh, PA. Mariam Hamza, a six-year-old Iraqi child known throughout the Middle East and much of Europe as a symbol of all Iraqi children suffering under the sanctions, is scheduled to arrive in Pittsburgh International Airport at 2:05 pm on August 15 on American Airlines Flight #5039. Her flight from Jordan to the United States is a gift from Royal Jordanian Airlines who have also provided a complimentary seat for her grandmother. The media is invited to meet this child and her grandmother as they arrive. An interpreter will be available. Mariam was scheduled to arrive several days ago and had hoped to participate in Children's Crusade 2000, an international children's festival held in Farmington August 11-13, but her medical condition prevented her from traveling at that time. Doctors at the Al-Amal hospital in Jordan have stabilized her condition and she is now en-route. At Children's Crusade 2000 a significant new book on children, Endangered: Your Child in a Hostile World was launched. The author, Johann Christoph Arnold, visited Mariam in Jordan in November, 1999 and has followed her situation since. As Elder of the Bruderhof Communities, one of the organizations sponsoring her travel to the US, he helped arrange for Mariam to come to the US for further medical care. Mariam and her grandmother will be hosted by noted pediatrician Dr. Ali Aboosi of Greensburg, Pennsylvania and by the Bruderhof Communities in Farmington, Pennsylvania. Dr. Aboosi is donating his services as a doctor and the Bruderhof Communities are donating all costs of transport in the United States and all food and lodging expenses. The Bruderhof Communities have sent several delegations to Iraq to bring medicine for the suffering children and to express their solidarity with the Iraqi people suffering under the sanctions. In 1998, as a four-year-old child suffering from leukemia, Mariam was brought to the United Kingdom by George Galloway, Member of the British Parliament. George Galloway is the Senior Vice-Chairman of the Labour Party's Foreign Affairs Committee. Mariam arrived in London in a blaze of publicity and was treated for leukemia in a Glasgow Hospital. Mariam is being flown to the United States for medical care and follow-up courtesy of Royal Jordanian Airlines. This great humanitarian gesture by Royal Jordanian Airlines has been welcomed and appreciated by Mariam's supporters around the world. Mariam will travel with her grandmother Umhadiattah Burhan. Also of note is the fact that the United States Embassy in Amman kindly waived the visa fees for Mariam and her grandmother. The sponsors of Mariam's trip to the United States for medical care hope that the illegal sanctions will be lifted so that all Iraqi children suffering as Mariam has will be able to have access to the medical care she is about to receive. The Mariam Appeal, a campaign to end the sanctions, was founded by George Galloway, MP and is named after Mariam Hamza. Her picture has appeared on posters throughout the Middle East and Europe. For further information regarding Mariam and the Mariam Appeal please visit website: www.mariamappeal.com --30-- -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq For removal from list, email firstname.lastname@example.org Full details of CASI's various lists can be found on the CASI website: http://welcome.to/casi