Meet Baby Bakir (pronounced bah-ker).
Thanks to the combined efforts of Nahoko Takato, the talented doctors and nurses at Anadolu Medical Center, and the Preemptive Love Coalition, this beautiful little boy is now recovering after receiving a lifesaving heart surgery in Istanbul, Turkey.
This is actually an exciting week for Bakir's hometown of Fallujah as it's the first annual Remember Fallujah Week. US veteran Ross Caputi launched the Justice for Fallujah Project to decry the atrocities committed against the citizens of Fallujah during the Iraq War. US officials report that more than half of the city's 39,000 homes were either damaged or destroyed in Operation Phantom Fury in 2004, and, like Bakir, many of the city's children have continued to experience the lingering effects of chemical weapons in the form deadly heart defects.
Yet in the midst of so much destruction, we're eager to offer you stories like Bakir's. In a city of rubble, his is a bright story of hope and future.