Sabah Family

The Wounds of War: Omar, Sabah, and Ali

Their Story, Our Response

Victims of the war in Iraq

Omar HospitalIn 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. Omar pictured here, age 5, with Cole Miller of No More Victims, at Children’s Hospital in Boston, where he has been receiving treatment for the past six years. 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.

New Beginnings

Sabah kissing Omar after surgery. 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.

The Boys

Omar, age 8 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. Ali, age 11 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: Agape Community, 2062 Greenwich Road, Ware, MA 01082 Ali, Sabah, and Omar (left to right) planting a tree at Agape in memory of Suad Salaman, their slain wife and mother (October 2010). Edit

Upcoming Events

Agape Community Receives 2015 Is… @ Paulist Center
Agape Community Receives 2015 Is… @ Paulist Center Edit
Feb 7 @ 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Agape Community Receives 2015 Isaac Hecker Prize for Social Justice @ Paulist Center | Boston | Massachusetts | United States
Due to the impending snow storm on Saturday, January 24, the Isaac Hecker Award Ceremony and Reception has been rescheduled for February 7 at 5pm.   2015 Isaac Hecker Award for Social Justice: Suzanne and Brayton Shanley             Rescheduled for February 7 Suzanne Belote Shanley and Brayton Shanley of the Agape Community have been chosen as the recipients of the 2015 Isaac Hecker Award for Social Justice!  Please join us onSaturday, February 7 at our 5pm liturgy to celebrate this extraordinary couple.  A reception in the auditorium will follow the 5pm liturgy.  Finger foods and/or desserts welcomed!   Agape Community was founded in 1982 by the Shanleys and Fr. Emmanuel Charles McCarthy when they decided they needed to live out their Catholicism according to the uncompromising dictates they understood from the Gospels. The community lives off the land, growing its own food, rather than support agribusiness; uses solar power to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels and minimize their contributions to energy companies; drives a vegetable grease-powered car so as not to feed the need for oil, which they believe leads the country to war. Members lead workshops on nonviolence, teaching the lives of Christ, Gandhi, Martin Luther King and Dorothy Day to college students and parish groups. In addition, the community is a constant presence at peace demonstrations and protests against torture, the death penalty and mass imprisonment. They spearheaded the Catholic Call to Peace, a nationwide petition against the war on Iraq and over the years has hosted people recently released from prison, established internships for homeless people and hosted women fleeing abuse. Agape is an experiment in making the truth of God visible in the human world.
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