Friday, August 05, 2005


The Terrorism Case that Wasn't

The NewStandard/Syracuse/NY/USA/4-Aug-05

.. Dhafir, 55, was born into a middle-class Sunni Muslim family in Baghdad, according to a biography submitted to the court by the defense team. After graduating tenth out of 45,000 seniors in the nation, the document states, he enrolled in Baghdad Medical School, where he received his medical degree.

Dhafir left Iraq in 1972, and has not returned since. He met his wife, Priscilla, while studying for his oncology certification at the University of Michigan. He moved to Syracuse in 1980, opening his own clinic as well as working on the staff of Rome Memorial Hospital. He soon rose to prominence within the community, becoming president of the Islamic Society of Central New York, and helping with efforts to build a local mosque.

Dhafir said he founded the charity Help the Needy in 1993 to raise money to buy food and supplies for Iraqi people suffering under the sanctions. "A group of us sat down and said, ‘Something needs to be done,’’ he said. Dhafir spoke everywhere from mosques to community centers to Quaker meeting houses about the devastation the sanctions caused.

According to a UNICEF report, at least 500,000 Iraqi children under the age of five who might not have died otherwise have died under the sanctions. As late as 2003, one million children under the age of five were suffering from the long-term effects of malnutrition, the report said. ...


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