In an Iraqi village, a four-year-old girl hides skin disease from neighbours [Tribune] 26 May, 2018

Haura, a four-year-old Iraqi child with a rare skin congenital disease that covers much of her upper body in black marks and hair. Her condition, an extreme form of naevus -- birthmarks or moles -- make her highly vulnerable to malignant melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, and her despairing family can't afford to treat the condition.April 17, 2018. PHOTO: AFP WAHED HAZIRAN:Four-year-old Iraqi girl Haura should be enjoying her childhood — games in the street, tearing in and out of friends’ homes and small squabbles over toys.Instead, a rare congenital skin condition covering much of her upper body in black marks and hair has made her the object of ridicule in her village, about 200 kilometres (120 miles) south of Baghdad.PHOTO: AFPEvery day, Haura’s parents dress her in long sleeved shirts and high collars, but it’s a losing battle — her neck gives her away, to laughter and jeers.“In two years, she will have to go to school — we really dread that,” says Haura’s mother Alia Khafif at the family home, in Wahed Haziran, Diwaniya province.PHOTO: AFP“How will the other children behave with her? We can’t guarantee that she’ll be comfortable in a school and this is the biggest obstacle for her future,” sighs Khafif, dressed in a traditional long black veil.Saudi urged not to turn Iraq into ‘cold war’ front with IranThe black marks and hair cover Haura’s shoulders and almost her entire back, along with much of her arms and neck. But things could still get a lot worse.Her condition, a giant form of naevus — birthmarks or moles — make her highly vulnerable to malignant melanoma, the most dangerous skin cancer.PHOTO: AFPTo ward off a potentially “fatal” outcome, the best treatments would be a skin graft and laser sessions, dermatologist Aqil al-Khaldi tells AFP. He also recommends psychological help. But Haura’s despairing family can’t afford these things.Iraq’s medical system has been destroyed by the 15 years of chaos that has followed the toppling in 2003 of dictator Saddam Hussein, and by more than a decade of sanctions before that.PHOTO: AFP“We have seen several doctors and they all told us that she cannot be treated in Iraq. They all say we have to go to a specialist centre abroad,” says Haura’s mother. “We cannot afford the journey or medical costs.”Even treatment to alleviate itching is beyond the family’s reach — and the irritation gets worse with the Summer heat, as temperatures regularly exceed 50 Celsius (120 Fahrenheit).PHOTO: AFP“What we have is barely enough to live on and to send four brothers and sisters to school,” adds Khafif, whose husband is old, sick and unemployed. Haura’s teenage brother Ahmad stands up for her.Bombs target Iraq communist party headquarters“She’s a normal child, there’s nothing wrong with her,” he insists. “But when she leaves the house, our neighbours laugh at her.”Haura, holds a cell phone as she is carried by her brother outside their family home. PHOTO: AFPOutside in the street, passing children avoid her like the plague. “Even if the Prophet asks us, we won’t play with her,” one says.PHOTO: AFPSo when her siblings head to school, Haura sits and plays on her own — or peers mournfully into a little green-framed mirror, held up close to show only her big brown eyes and pretty face.

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Reviews & Comments:
Thanks for having provided knowledge to the world about the ordeal the little beautiful Haura is going through. A crowdfunding campaign should be promoted in order to raise the required amount of money to pay for treatment. I'm sure that when informed about this matter many people of goodwill will contribute including myself. Great shame on those who taunt little beautiful Haura for the severe illness affecting her. Do these people call themselves Muslims? Did they forget the wonderful name of Allah The Compassionate? Doesn't ever occur to them the thought that perhaps the ordeal of little beautiful Haura is a means for the All Powerful to probe the heart of those who call themselves المؤمنين (believers)?
Mario64, Italy May 27, 2018

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