Iraq to Catalina
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Iraq to Catalina

Salee Allawe, a 10-year-old Iraqi girl who lost both legs last year in what her family said was a U.S. air strike on the outskirts of Baghdad, and her father, Hussein Allawe Feras, show their joy during a visit Monday to Santa Catalina Island. Salee recently was fitted with mechanical knees and prosthetic limbs at the Shriners Hospital for Children in Greenville, S.C. Her sponsors wanted to give her a happy memory before she returns to her war-torn country next week, so she was taken on a daylong tour of the island. Also killed in the attack were Salee’s 13-year-old brother and her best friend . (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
Salee, who did not wear her artificial legs on the trip, is awed by a school of brightly colored fish in a feeding frenzy outside the plate-glass portal of a glass-bottom boat. She was accompanied by a translator and two people who raised most of the funds to bring her to the United States for corrective surgery: social worker Ann Cothran of Greenville, N.C., and Cole Miller, founder of Los Angeles-based No More Victims, a grass-roots organization dedicated to assisting Iraqi children injured in the war. “There are thousands of Salees in Iraq,” Miller said. “I don’t consider this charity. It’s responsibility.” (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)
Salee, right, and her island friend Sammi enjoy a cruise along Avalon Harbor. Next week, Salee will begin her journey back to Baghdad, where she will reunite with her mother, who is pregnant, a diabetic brother and a sister who lost part of a foot in last year’s explosion. Salee will return to the United States every 12 to 18 months for follow-up examinations and more sophisticated mechanical knees, which will enable her to walk unaided by crutches. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)