An Iraqi man who lost his arms when he was 12 in a U.S. missile attack on Baghdad in 2003 weds childhood sweetheart in a two day ceremony held in the couple’s land of birth.
Ali Abbas, an orphan who was never expected to live, let alone marry, suffered 60 percent burns and lost 16 members of his family, including his parents in the attack. Jaw-dropping pictures had then emerged across the world of his burned body.
Until today, the ghastly memories of the past still are reported to haunt Ali. He can still recall the screams of his family during the dark night when fire engulfed their home, British newspaper, The Sun.
Following an appeal from Iraqi medics, Ali was airlifted to Kuwait for surgery. He was then flown to Britain where artificial arms were fitted for him by specialists, in a hospital located in South London.
In June 2010 he became a British citizen. Since then, Ali has travelled to Iraq several times to see members of his family who survived the U.S. missile attack. During one of his many trips, he was re-introduced to Ankam; a beautiful childhood friend .The pair had then developed a courtship.
“We both felt it was the right thing because we’ve known each other for a long time and loved one another before we talked about marriage,” Ali told The Sun.
The couple got engaged last summer. Ali flew back to Iraq last month to take Ankams hand in marriage. “It’s hard to describe the feeling when I saw her. It just feels so good to be married and to be building a family again. We drove to another venue and had a traditional feast with 150 guests.” Ali said.
“I never expected to stay alive, I never expected to be loved by a woman — and I certainly didn’t expect to get married” Ali told The Sun. “I’ve definitely made the right choice. She never lets me feel I’m disabled. When I’m with her I just feel normal, like me.”
During the wedding, Ali’s thoughts remained with his mother. “My mum always used to talk to me about how she couldn’t wait to dance all day at my wedding. When I saw Ankam standing there in her dress, I thought about how much my mum would have wanted to be there,”
Ali has now returned to Britain and is applying UK visas for his wife so she can join him. “It was so hard to say goodbye to Ankam. We both love kids so much and our dream is to start a family together.”