Iraqi Ambassador Thanks Rotarians For Children's Heart Surgery - Jan 2006

The Permanent Representative of Iraq to the United Nations, Ambassador Samir Shakir Mahmood Sumaida’ie (3rd from left) visited the Rotary Club of New York’s Monthly Breakfast Meeting at the United Nation to thank Rotarians for arranging and financing high- risk heart surgery at a New York hospital for six Iraqi children. Rotary’s Gift of Life has arranged this surgical procedure for more than 9,000 children over the last twenty years, but these are the first children from Iraq. The children, all boys, range in age from 6 years to 14 years and were accompanied by their fathers and have been in New York for about two weeks. They have all fully recovered, and are now expected to live a long and healthy life.

The Ambassador emphasized that this Rotary service project was indeed a Gift of Life, but it was also a “Gift of Good-Will”. Their families and friends will remember the generosity and humanity of Americans for years to come.

He outlined another recent situation of a young mother who needed extensive eye reconstruction from a terrorist inflicted injury. A prominent Iraqi surgeon, practicing in New York, donated the surgery and hospital costs, and the Ambassador arranged for housing and transportation.

Ambassador Sumaida’ie noted that obviously there is a great need for this type of humanitarian work and there are many cases that need to be done. These acts of humanity are also important because they resonate in people’s memories. People witness, first-hand, the humanity of Americans, as well as all the nationalities that are part of the Rotary Club of New York. “We must all feel we are one human family and this is where the hope for the future lies.” he concluded.

YIR, tm