In this Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018 photo, Saja Ahmed Saleem, is wheeled into the operating room for her reconstructive surgery in Baghdad, Iraq. (AP/Hadi Mizban)
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It was spring 2007 in northern Iraq when 6-year-old Saja Saleem raced home from school with the good news about her excellent grades, hoping to receive the gift her father had promised her.Feeling helpless, Saleem recently turned to social media to find help.Emotional videos and photographs of Iraqis with war wounds and disabilities have overwhelmed social media platforms, mainly Facebook, widely used in Iraq.The widespread violence unleashed by the 2003 toppling of Saddam Hussein and the 2014-2017 battle against Daesh (ISIS) has wounded hundreds of thousands of Iraqis. Days later, Baghdad-based Dr. Abbas al-Sahan, one of Iraq's best plastic surgeons, offered to do free surgeries.Sahan runs the only state-run specialized hospital for reconstructive and plastic surgery in Iraq.Saleem's family feels she is lucky. Not everyone gets the help they need through social media.
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