What Silver Lining?

Thirteen-year-old Iraqi Ayad al-Sirowiy was injured by an American bomb, which scarred his face so that he was too embarrassed to attend school. After seeing his picture on the cover of the New York Times, several concerned Americans (with notably disparate political affiliations) worked to bring him to the U.S. for medical treatment. While here, Ayad and his father visited the United Nations, toured the Pentagon, and met with U.S. senator Patrick Leahy.

Sure, Ayad’s physical problems can’t be completely fixed, but today’s NYT article struck me as overly accentuating the negative:

But the miracle metamorphosis didn’t happen. Ayad thought he was going to get a new eye; instead he got a contact lens. And the laser surgery that was promised to erase his facial scars will only lighten them, unless he can receive follow-up treatment in the United States or another modern country, which is highly unlikely once he leaves behind the silky sheets and first-class hotels for his mud hut.

. . .

Ayad saluted a picture of the president, saying in English, “Bush, very, very good.”

Meanwhile, his father was boiling inside. During an interview with an Arab television network, he went into a tirade about being promised money and gifts.

“I demand to face George W. Bush, and I have some things to say straight to him,” he said.

On Wednesday afternoon, the two were more somber. They were scheduled to leave New York on an 11 p.m. flight for the Middle East and the sight of their suitcases stuffed with new clothes, cameras and Herbal Essence shampoo depressed them.

“I thought the Americans could do everything,” Ayad’s father said.

Ayad stared at the carpet and whispered, “I hope we come back.”

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