Aram Karim Hama Hussein (boy) and Ana Karim Hama Hussein (girl) age 4. They are both born with Microcephalus, a neurodevelopmental disorder in which the circumference of the head is more than two standard deviations smaller than average for the person's age and sex, and can be caused by abnormal conditions while the mother is pregnant. Both children are unable to walk or develop speaking abilities.
On the 16th of March 1988, an Iraqi military strike hit the Kurdish town of Halabja with the greatest attack of chemical weapons ever used against a civilian population. The weapons used were a "cocktail" of mustard gas and the nerve agents sarin, tabun and VX. These chemicals drenched the skin and clothes of the targeted people, affected their respiratory tracts and eyes and contaminated their water and food.
But a generation later, the strike on Halabja is still killing people. An increasing number of children are dying each year of leukemia and lymphomas. The cancers are more frequent in children and teenagers in Halabja than elsewhere in Iraqi Kurdistan, and many people have aggressive tumors.
No chemotherapy or radiotherapy is available in this region. The attack has left thousands people wounded physiologically too. Some statues and monument in Halabja are based on the pictures taken on the day of the attack and often show dying people instead of triumphant men in a context of greatness.
The entire city carries this legacy on its shoulders.
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