Abbas goes on to explain that he had declined the offer to go to Canada because the person who offered to bring him there would not or could also take his friend, Ahmed, another war-injured Iraqi he met in the Kuwaiti hospital. Ahmed ended up going to the U.K. with him and they remain close friends.
"I was always angry of what happened to us," he says. "I lost my family and what happened to me. Of course, I was angry. I don't see any reason why this happened. For me, it's like … a nightmare."
I wondered if he even remembered being carried out of the ambulance, through the crowd of reporters and into the hospital in Kuwait. Maybe it would be better if he didn't. Maybe the less of the nightmare he recalls, the better. What was important, it seemed to me now as I read about his new life, his marriage, his joy, as I peered at the image of this young man and remembered the howling boy on the hospital table, as I listened to him speak, is that his nightmare is over.