BACKGROUND, PHOTOS, PRESS RELEASES, ETC.
Print Out Press Release
Download Printable digital photos
For more information or photos:
See the No More Victims organizational website
Contact Cole Miller or Alan Pogue (see press release) or email blunncreek at earthlink.net
Back to Alan's Blog
Dahr Jamail's Report on the Circumstances of Al Quaim, where Alaa' and her family lived.
The trip to save Alaa' Abd and her mother's eyes began with the successful effort to save Asraa in 2004.
Does helping one small child, or a few, in the face of the faceless tens of thousands whose injuries and deaths are without
verifiable numbers, mean anything? Does this just show how futile humanitarian efforts are in comparison
with the massive brutality of war?
Or does it show that there is some hope for the future yet
because heroic action can be peaceful and humanitarian, with motivations found in the courage to love, rather than to kill?
These questions can be debated, but meanwhile, a photographer and former medic is acting to save a child.
Alan Pogue began a career as a photographer after coming home from Vietnam where he served as a
front line US Army combat medic in battles such as the Tet Offensive. He treated the
wounds of villagers as well as fellow servicemen.
His photography work ever since then has been wholly dedicated to looking into humanity's wounds for the purpose of bringing
hope and healing, crossing the boundary from objective, unfeeling witness into caring and advocacy. The effort
to save children from the hell of war is an outgrowth of his lifelong effort. (See Alan's Biography and Showings history.)
Alan made a trip to Iraq in 2000 and encountered Asraa, a 13 year old girl, whose arm had been amputated after
a US warplane attack in which she was caught on the way home from school. This photo became widely distributed and was
used worldwide as a poster used in large war protest demonstrations. Cole Miller, a screenwriter working in Hollywood,
became interested in who the girl was and contacted Alan. Together they traveled to Iraq to search for her, arranged for
Asraa and her family to travel to Houston. There, surgery was performed on her arm, a prosthetic was donated for her and
she received physical rehabilitation work.
The connection with Alaa' Abd came from contact with one Iraqi doctor, that Cole Miller found. He and Alan hope to be
able to create a funded effort sufficient to allow for saving more children.
See Oct 20 email from Cole to Alan below
Background Posts by Date & Time (US-CST)
Oct 28, 11:53 PM - Getting Ready, more background
Oct 20 6:45 PM PST - Background
Oct 28, 2005 11:53 PM - SECURING FUNDING, CLEARANCES
I am flying solo. Cole Miller has handled the paper work and contacted the same legislative
help (as in the effort to help Asraa ): Kennedy, Boxer, McDermott, and Kucinich. I need
to contact Doggett.
The U.S. embassy has been alerted and is supposed to be on board to
expedite the medical visa. My fondest hope is that we can get through the
red tape in a week.
Alaa, a girl of 3 years, was struck in the eye with small shrapnel. Her eye
could be saved if the surgery is done quickly here in the U.S. In a
separate incident her mother, 25 years old, was blinded by shrapnel. I do
not know if the mother's eyes can be saved but they will try to help in
The father, Khalid Abd ,27, will accompany his wife and daughter.
They live in Al Qaim, in western Iraq, which has been an area of intense
Cole Miller has enlisted the aid of the Central Florida Retina
Center and the University of South Florida College of Medicine. Senators
Boxer, Kennedy, and Congressmen Kucinich and Mc Dermott have already sent
letters to the U.S. embassy in Amman , Jordan. The embassy staff has
indicated they will expedite the medical visas as soon as I arrive.
We also have seven year old Abdul Ismaeel who has lost his left eye and needs
plastic surgery to reconstruct the left side of his face. Abdul and his
parents have not been able to travel to Amman due the the continuing
fighting around Falluja but we hope to bring them in the near future.
We are working with a very brave young Iraqi woman who shuttles back and forth from
Amman to clinics in western Iraq bringing medical supplies to outlying
clinics in Iraq. When she has Alaa and her parents in Baghdad, ready to
travel to Amman, then I will fly to Amman and help them through the process
and accompany them to the hospital in Orlando.
I'm really broke so two people, Bruce Barrick and Frances Joseph, have
volunteered to help raise money for me. The Ragging Grannies in Seattle have
raised $3,200 for this effort. Bert Sacks helped with that. Cole has raised
some money. The plane tickets are covered and some ground expenses..
Oct 20 06:45:29 PM PST From: Cole Miller To: Alan Pogue
I started looking for medical reports, and tried many blind alleys. You remember what
happened in Kuwait [Save the Children wouldn't give us information on war injured children,
then the Iraqi doctors wouldn't either, all for political reasons]. Then Jamil [ manager
at the Al Monzer Hotel in Amman] put me in touch with an Iraqi doctor. This doctor would
forward medical reports of war injured children . I had them reviewed by a doctor to
Ashley Severance visited the site several months ago, and sent me an email. We
talked many times. I saw she was serious and dedicated. And smart. I connected
her with Alaa's medical reports. She arranged the care, an amazing feat in Orlando.
Simple, really. This is just what I wanted to have happen. I just got this ten minutes ago
from a beautiful young student at Stanford who I met at an event while Asraa was here:
I hope all is well- I am going to take you up on the offer- I really really
want to bring a child over, and Stanford MSAN is willing to sponsor/raise
money for it....where do I start??
An important element: Ashley has a daughter exactly Alaa's age.
Give my love to Alaa' and family, will you? I look forward to meeting them
in Orlando -- come hell or high water.