Photo Title



Farah Nosh



Getty Images / TIME Magazine / The New York Times


Ali Yusif Karim, (age 29, b.1977) at home in the Sueb district of Baghdad, February 2006. Injured 9a.m, January 15, 2005 when his Iraqi army vehicle ran over an IED resulting in the amputation of his legs and the loss of his right index finger. “My sadness isn’t for myself. I am a soldier, I sign up to die, I expect to die, but the civilian who goes out and gets bread for his family, he’s a civilian, and he is being killed. My sadness is for this. I was in the National Army for a year and a half. In the beginning, there was more security. One morning we were out on duty, in a three-car convoy, I was driving in the second car. I was having problems with the car. We were on the New Baghdad highway. So the car in front of me was yelling at us for falling behind, I grabbed the radio to explain to him I was having problems with the car, and for just one moment I swerved to the left. Then the blast and the car flew. I sensed fire below me, so I threw myself and rolled, and a gun-battle followed the blast. At that time I didn’t pray, the first thing that came to mind is that I am going to die and I don’t pray. Next, I knew I was in Ibn Sina, the American’s hospital. My legs were hit hard, but not yet lost. First it was a short amputation. Then, they kept cutting them, and kept cutting, until this length now. They were all Americans there and the translator would come for just a couple of hours a day. I didn’t understand them and they didn’t understand me. I was in that situation for 42 days, every other day I was going back in for surgery. I was yelling and crying, my family hadn’t found me yet. I just wanted to die. I would cover my face and ask Allah to finish me. Nobody that spoke my language was around me, I wanted my family around me. Before one cries blood (over the situation in Iraq), now death is everyday, it’s normal. Outside you go to weddings, parties, and here we go to funerals.


Farah Nosh, "Wounded," in POYi Archive, Item #46175, http://archive.poy.org/items/show/46175 (accessed July 16, 2020).

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