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I can't speak Arabic, but...

by Laural Porter

Posted on November 27, 2008 at 2:14 AM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 4 at 2:32 PM

... I can understand a "thumbs up".

Little Mustafa Abed gave me that sign when I asked him how he was feeling today.

I met Mustafa and his father,Ahmed, at Ronald Mcdonald House today.

It's 2:00 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning as I write this.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

I am still at my desk in the newsroom finishing up a story about Mustafa that will run on Wednesday,December 3rd, the day Mustafa will leave to return to Iraq.

I hope you will get the chance to see it during our 6pm news.

On this Thanksgiving, I am grateful Mustafa is feeling better and that my own children are safe, happy,and healthy.

Six year old Mustafa was injured during a U-S missile strike on Fallujah on November 18th,2004.

Mustafa's father found some video on Youtube he says shows his then two year old son right after a piece of shrapnel tore through his body. Mustafa lost a leg and suffered many internal injuries.

The U-S based human rights group "No More Victims" brought Mustafa to Portland to receive medical treatment at Doernbecher's and Shriner's hospitals.

The wonderful doctors there repaired his bowel, removed a non-functioning kidney and an egg-sized stone from his bladder.

No wonder Mustafa feels better now.

And prosthetist, Sabrina Huston, pulled out all the stops to create a special prosthetic limb for Mustafa.

It wasn't easy, because of Mustafa's injuries. The bomb damaged his hip and there is no socket to which a limb could be attached, so Huston created one.

We'll talk about that in the story Wednesday and look back at Mustafa's stay here, and the affect he has had on all who met him.

So, as I get ready for a few days off to celebrate Thanksgiving with my family, I am touched by the loving individuals who worked so hard to bring Mustafa and his father here.

Ahmed told me, through an interpreter, that he considers it his duty now to tell everyone he can in Iraq about the people he met in Portland,their friendship, and how they helped to heal his son.

I am grateful to have met them...

Thumbs up, Mustafa...

and Happy Thanskgiving everyone.