- The Washington Times - Monday, August 7, 2006

MIAMI (AP) — Three-year-old Amina can’t hear the bombs and bullets that rake through Baghdad. The Iraqi girl has been deaf since birth.

Her family is too poor to pay for advanced surgeries that could restore her hearing, so until recently a soundless life seemed certain.

With the help of the U.S. Army in Iraq and the International Kids Fund (IKF), a Miami-based aid group, Amina was flown to the United States on July 30 and will undergo treatment at the University of Miami Jackson Memorial Hospital.

The IKF, which has brought more than 125 children from around the world to Miami for treatments, kicked off an effort Friday to raise $40,000 to pay for a cochlear implant to be surgically placed in Amina’s ear. The device turns sound into electrical impulses that activate the hearing nerve, allowing the deaf to hear.

“We fully expect her to live a normal life once she goes back to Iraq,” said Dr. Thomas Balkany, who will perform the surgery.

“I am so grateful … that my daughter now will hear one day,” said the girl’s father, Mohammed, who didn’t want his last name used for fear of retribution once he returns to Iraq.

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