The Wounds of War: Omar, Sabah, and Ali
Their Story, Our Response
Victims of the war in Iraq
In 2005, this Iraqi family, Sabah Kader (father), Suad Salaman (mother), and their two children, Omar and Ali Mahmood, were riding in their car with friends and had arrived at a checkpoint in Mosul, near Samarra, when members of the U.S. military mistakenly fired on them.
Sabah was able to push Ali out of their car before he was physically injured. Omar, who was three years old (pictured above), survived the explosion with burns over 70% of his body. He remains severely disfigured. Suad perished in the fire, along with three other adults and at least one child. Like Omar, Sabah’s health and body were irrevocably comprised. All three survivors suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.
Life as Refugees in Boston
In 2006, the organization No More Victims helped Sabah and Omar come to the U.S. for medical treatment as refugees. A year later, Ali was able to join them. Sabah’s new wife, Hiba, is still in Iraq. Sabah and the boys have tried to establish a new life despite dealing with the repercussions of that day.
Sabah and Omar have both been treated at Boston hospitals. Omar has had a big toe amputated to create a new thumb and has a new prosthetic ear. He has academic challenges due to his physical problems, for example limited fine motor skills for writing. Sabah retains shrapnel from the explosion in his body, and is reliant upon pharmaceutical drugs, ongoing medical attention and frequent hospitalizations to assuage the pain and help his body fight off infections. During this time, Sabah has been unable to work. The family has been living in a small, one-bedroom basement flat.
The family wishes to remain in the United States, and they were recently granted asylum. Their hope is to be a complete family once again by finding the resources needed to bring Hiba to the U.S.
Sabah wants for his boys what many fathers want for their children: He wants them to have a mother and a place to live where they can play, study, feel safe, and thrive.
Omar and Ali are exuberant, loquacious, and curious. They attend school in Boston, where Omar has been deemed “a leader in his class” and Ali, despite having only spoken English for a few years, is excelling academically. They enjoy exploring nature and meeting new people, and can often be found catching frogs and salamanders at Agape Community on the weekends.
With Ali’s natural musical aptitude and Omar’s knack for storytelling, they charm all who meet them. Omar and Ali help us to encounter a difficult world with fresh eyes and youthful hearts.
How to Help
The family is in need of financial support for new housing and to aid with the immigration costs of bringing Sabah’s new wife, Hiba, to the U.S. from Iraq. Our goal for housing is a condo or house with three bedrooms, or a donated or rent-free apartment space near the boy’s school in Brighton. Please consider making a donation to help Sabah, Ali, and Omar today.
Make checks payable to Agape Community designated for Sabah Kader. Please send to:
2062 Greenwich Road,
Ware, MA 01082