Sun, Nov 30, 2003 - Page 4 News List

Iraqi boy says he loves Taiwan, but resents Americans

CNA , TAIPEI

An Iraqi boy who received medical treatment in Taiwan after he had been maimed in the US-led war in Iraq said recently that he loves the Taiwanese people most and resents Americans most.

Khaldon kh-Thiab made the remarks in an interview with the Central Broadcasting System (CBS) for an Arabian program which will be aired in the Middle East and North Africa on Monday.

The 12-year-old boy, better known in his local community as Aldon, said in the interview that he could never forget March 20, the day the US launched an attack on his country. Three of his brothers were killed in the US bombing, while Aldon lost an arm and a leg.

Aldon said that he has many people to thank for his medical treatment, especially in Taiwan, where he said many kind-hearted people have taken care of him. After seeing the Taiwanese children around him playing in a carefree manner, he said that he wants to live like them.

Aldon, who is being sponsored by the Eden Social Welfare Foundation, was discharged from a local hospital last week after being fitted with a prosthetic foot and hand.

He is currently staying at the Taipei Grand Mosque. He has to visit the hospital for rehabilitation treatment every day.

Aldon said that he is still not used to his prosthetic foot and new shoes, but added that he wants to say "thank you to Taiwan" for helping him to be able to walk again.

The boy's father, who accompanied him for the interview, initially declined to accept a watch presented to him by the radio station director, saying he didn't want anything from the US. He only accepted it after being assured that the watch was made in Taiwan.

A surgical team performed a lengthy operation on Aldon Nov. 10, reshaping his maimed right hand, which only had a thumb remaining after the bombing, and cutting a protru-ding bone from his right leg to allow for the prosthetic foot and hand to be fitted.

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