This is one of many children being maimed by the war in Iraq.
Fifty civilians die per day. That’s the London bombing, every single fucking day.
It was about a month after the American-led war against Iraq began that Ayad was injured in his hometown, Kifil, also referred to as Al-Kifl, about two hours south of Baghdad. The town was heavily attacked with cluster bombs, which crack open in the sky to sprinkle smaller “bomblets” over a wide area. Some of them do not detonate immediately, and each year many civilians, especially children, are maimed after happening upon them.
Ayad says it was his family’s cow that set off the cluster bomb that injured him, in April 2003.
“Boom,” the boy said, as he recalled the incident. “Bomb.”
His face swelled to a black crisp, and his family, poor date farmers, had no means to help him. He eventually healed, but his right eye was ruined and his forehead and cheeks were tattooed with ugly blue freckles. His disfigurement led to shame, and his shame kept him out of school. Seeking help, his father made the rounds of American military bases, where he crossed paths with a reporter in March 2004 in Baghdad.