Tuesday 19 October 2010

Time's Afghan Cover Girl Gets A New Nose

The young Afghan woman who appeared on the cover of Time after having her nose and ears cut off by the Taliban

The woman, Ayesha — who was married at 12 and suffered years of abuse before attempting to run away and, in turn, being left for dead — ended up, luckily, at a nearby hospital and then a secret shelter, where she was discovered by Diane Sawyer. Later came the cover of Time; and as a result of this publicity, in August Ayesha traveled to California for extensive reconstructive surgery, and fitted with a temporary prosthetic nose. This week, the young woman — still only 18 — was honored with an "Enduring Heart Award," presented by the Grossman Burn Foundation.

This is wonderful news, uplifting. But what if Ayesha hadn't gotten a relative to take her to the hospital? What if Diane Sawyer hadn't seen her? This is the reality for many, many other young women and we can't forget it. Ayesha's resiliency shows that it's never to late. But rather than letting this be the end of the story, it should be yet another necessary wake-up call. Which is not to say we can't rejoice in Ayesha's happiness and beauty; I defy anyone to stay dry-eyed at the transformation.


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