The shocking story of one-year-old Ali

Topic Selected: War and Conflict

General Article icon Type: General Article

n April 2017, one-year-old Ali and his family were used as human shields in Mosul, Iraq. Caught in a bombing, Ali was severely injured and both his parents and brother were killed. The baby boy is currently being treated at a hospital south of Mosul. His aunt and uncle are taking care of him and Khaled, a Handicap International physiotherapist, is supporting Ali’s recovery.

In Qayyarah hospital, the heat is stifling. Mosquito nets have been installed over each bed, to protect patients from the hundreds of flies buzzing around the ceiling. In the women and children’s room, a dozen beds are lined up, one by the other. Somewhere, a baby is crying.

Through one of the mosquito nets, you can make out the silhouette of a young woman holding a little boy in her arms. Khaled, Handicap International’s physiotherapist, walks toward the bed and the baby’s cries gradually stop. Ali, intrigued, looks at Khaled.

“How is he today?” asks the p

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