Abdul Hakeem

On April 9, 2004 at 11:00 pm, Abdul Hakeem and his family were asleep at home when mortar rounds fired by US forces struck their home. His mother suffered abdominal and chest injuries and has undergone five major operations. His older brother and sister were injured, and his unborn sister killed.

NMV learned about Abdul Hakeem in March of 2005. We secured his medical reports and sent them to Dan Kovalik, an attorney with the United Steelworkers. He then contacted local doctors, including oculoplastic surgeon Dr. Toni Stefko, who immediately volunteered to help. Chad Hetman, a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War and Veterans for Peace, spent six weeks in Amman guiding Hakeem and his father through the difficult and time-consuming visa process. He accompanied them to Pittsburgh, where they arrived in February 2006.

Abdul Hakeem returned to Pittsburgh for a second round of skin grafting that removed 80% of his remaining scar. His appearance has been virtually restored. Before his treatment, he refused to go to school because — in his words — “I look like a horrible monster.”

Today Abdul Hakeem is back in school and the top student in his class.