Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 29 October 2020

Syrian girl who lost an eye in Beirut blast given prosthetic by UAE

Initiative from Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak helps five-year-old Sama, who was injured in the explosion

A Syrian girl who lost an eye during the Beirut Port explosion was given a prosthetic thanks to an initiative by Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, president of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood and supreme chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation.

Sama, 6, and her family were at home in Beirut when, on August 4, 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate stored at the port exploded and tore through the Lebanese capital. The devastation killed nearly 190 people and left 30,000 homeless.

The glass panes in Sama's home shattered and a shard blinded her left eye. She was taken to hospital, but doctors were unable to save her eye.

Immediately after the explosion, countries including the UAE sent aid to Lebanon to support hospitals and people whose belongings were destroyed.

Sheikha Fatima, who is also president of the General Women's Union, directed that a plane carrying about 100 tonnes of medicines and nutritional supplies be sent. She also sponsored the medical treatment and rehabilitation of people injured in the blast. Sama was among those helped – she was given a prosthetic eye.

Sama’s family thanked the UAE and Sheikha Fatima for her support and for covering the expenses of the treatment.

"My daughter lost her eye in the explosion in Beirut. Now she has been fitted with a [glass] eye and I thank Sheikha Fatima and the UAE for that. She is really happy now ... she was happy to remove her bandages," Sama's mother said.

"I wasn't happy [before]," Sama told state news agency Wam.

"But Sheikha Fatima organised for me to get a new eye ... I love Sheikha Fatima a lot."

Updated: October 12, 2020 10:51 PM

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