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“Rana, a 10-year-old girl, fell into scalding hot water at the age of three. A bad burn on her arm prevented full use of the limb. Her father has abandoned them and his whereabouts are unknown:

‘“My two children and I are living with my parents, explained Khadra, Rana’s mother. I do some sewing and make about 30-40 JD a month (approximately $21 to $28 a month), which supports my family.’

“An operation to repair Rana’s arm will cost approximately 500 JD, or $355, Khadra’s yearly income. In response to this woman’s unmistakable dignity, Hiam encouraged Khadra to raise half the funds,” concludes Ms. Nimry, “while promising PMP’s assistance in covering the rest.”

Hiam takes an active role in securing resources to fund the many cases she considers, collaborating with Catholic Relief Services, Kinderhilfe Bethlehem, the Mennonite Center, Misereor and Missio, as well as many individual benefactors.

One American, Gary Berglund, described this activity in a recent letter:

“I have never been more touched until I heard the story of a 15-year-old blind Iraqi boy, Zaidoun Atyyeh. Although the U.N.-imposed embargo intended to curb the Iraqi government’s command, the five-year embargo has only hastened the impoverishment of Iraq’s middle – and lower-income families. The sanctions have also prevented children such as Zaidoun the opportunity to receive the simplest of medical assistance.

“Eight years ago Zaidoun lost his sight in the left eye due to a ‘total retinal detachment…vitreous bands and a partial complicated cataract.’ Two years later he lost a portion of his eyesight in his right eye; also a detached retina.”

“In early June, Zaidoun and his father visited the PMP – CNEWA Amman office to secure its assistance for an operation that would correct the boy’s vision. Zaidoun’s father had collected $280 from various odd jobs and from his friends and family. He needed just $2,000 more – an exorbitant sum – to correct the vision of his son, of whom he was enormously proud.

“After hearing this story, and checking the child’s medical records, Hiam immediately made a round of phone calls, asking for the support of individuals and collaborators. By the end of the day, with the help of the Mennonites and generous friends of PMP – CNEWA, enough had been collected for Zaidoun’s operation.

“Just three weeks later, Zaidoun and his father returned to the office to convey their deepest gratitude. What a glow on this child’s face; the operation had been a complete success.”

These are just a few of the many tales of hope that one could tell should space allow.

There is also the story of Asma, whose badly burned skull was treated with skin grafts; Ferial, whose struggle with Hodgkin’s disease required continuous care; and the lovely Fatin, a young woman with multiple sclerosis who, with the assistance of PMP – CNEWA, received a grant to launch her simple greeting card enterprise.

Wednesdays at our Amman office are days of hope.

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