Thursday, July 24, 2008

July 22, 2008 Artry

Artry (my friend and translator) an Armenian Iraqi refugee receiving physiotherapy at a private clinic in Amman.

Artrys therapist congratulating her on her quick response to treatment.

It was now time to take Artry to her physiotherapy. At the clinic I met the good Dr. a very dedicated and generous person extremely concerned with the situation of the refugees and locals who cannot afford treatment. The medicine is very expensive and often pays for patients out of his own pocket. As he went on to explain he cannot do it alone, he needs help and asked me if I know of any organizations that can assist.

Artrys therapist told me how well Artry is doing. In only 7 sessions she has gained balance and feels with the correct therapy Artry has a good chance of a full recovery. Artry suffered her form of cerebral palsy when she was born. Artry was a breach birth, the doctors pulled her out feet first and in the process damaged her hip and did not have enough oxygen. I asked Artrys parents what happened. They told me she was born in a private hospital in Iraq but the doctors didn’t do the right procedure. Until she was 12 years old Artry was paralyzed. Her father heard of a visting doctor from France who was performing the surgery Artry needed to be able to walk. The cost was too much for the family, so he went door to door begging. The surgery was a success. She can now walk, and function as any other person, though at great effort. Artry says, “see how much my father loves me.”


Lynn Miles said...

Not sure whether "congratulations" is the right word or sentiment. In a sense, it is great satisfaction to know that what you are so movingly expressing, that what so moves you, is finding expression in a way that is likely to help move others and thereby move things in a better direction -- that you are helping yourself by helping others -- this is cause for rejoicing and celebrating.

But there is a somber side, too, and through you it hurts to feel all these things that are hurting others. How war, the ongoing war, Rummy and Dick's never-ending war, the Neocon's war-project aimed at making the war-profiteering (some people's profit, a tiny minority) -- that all of this comes with such a horrendous human cost (unfortunately something so horrific as "two million refugees" becomes a numbing statistic, when unaccompanied by the human images, both visual and textual. How it feels on the ground, among real people, everything that is hidden in plain sight, meant to be hidden, but made unhidden through your combination of buddhajesus compassion and critical eye for light, color, composition, moment.

I hate to use the word "weapon," even metaphorically. I'm trying to wean myself of using such turns of phrase as "a war on the lies." So I will not say that your work, your photos and your plain-spoken, from-the-heart prose, your journal, are worthy weapons on the right side of a dirty war, but rather that they are tools in a larger project that hopefully will come to involve a lot of people on the outside. The project is to let others look at what the mass media is conspiring to keep hidden. I think your approach is great, and so am doing the little part that you asked of me -- pass it on to others, link to these pages, so that more and more people will want to see the refugee-creating process come to an end quickly.

"The surgery was a success. She can now walk, and function as any other person, though at great effort. Artry says, 'see how much my father loves me.'"

Amidst the misery some hope, some encouragement, it need not all be black, futile, discouraging, hopeless. we can marvel once again at the courage that comes through in situations where we think we ourselves, were we in their shoes (but for the grace of God), could never pass the test, never rise above our own despair and misery.

This is the Kloie Killer Kombination -- oops, using their language again. The Kloie Winning Combination. Showing people bringing hope and constructive effort in a situation that many might at first glance call hopeless, thereby encouraging the rest of us to think of constructive approaches, however "small" they may seem in the larger scheme of things. Kloie, you are absolutely on the right track, I salute your vision, dedication, perseverance, compassion, insight, art, eye. I think I speak for a lot of people; the fact that there are not yet a lot of comments on this site can only mean that not enough people are yet clued in that here is the place to come for a real on-the-ground, heart-to-heart look. Well, I say the place, while certainly there are a few others, and I would hope that your righthand column starts filling up with some of the sites that you would recommend, maybe after the fashion of the teacher who offers "further reading" assignments. Maybe in Arabic and English, both.

Kloie, remarkable, keep it up. We who have been asked to look will not soon forget the lady whose son was shot on the roof, though we may not remember her name. If you should not write another word or take another picture, the world has already gained through your having introduced them. I'm hoping that the pain of your own witnessing of such pain might find some cathartic relief through sharing this with others, just as I hope that perhaps the lady's sharing her own tragedy with you helped her as well. Please pass on the word that here in Taiwan a lot of people are wishing you and them all well.

Kloie, keep healthy, in good shape, keep safe, just as you look out for the welfare and safety of others. We and they need you.

Hoping, heping, shundahai. Lynn

Anonymous said...

Great, moving and encouraging post Lynn. Kepp it up and keep it coming, Kloie!