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“Shifaa is my favorite daughter. She’s the joy of the family.”

Shifaa was playing with her siblings in the living room of her family’s house in Syria, while her mother was in the kitchen, preparing her daughter’s favorite dish – a chicken and rice dish called biryani.

When her mother went out of the house, Shifaa ran into the kitchen, and knocked the boiling rice over herself, badly burning her face and torso.

Ever since that fateful day, Shifaa has become very shy. “She doesn’t play like she used to,” her parents tell us. Instead, Shifaa sits by herself for hours and draws. As her parents tell us this, Shifaa sits silently, drawing colorful people with big smiles on their faces.

Shifaa was referred to INARA by Doctors Without Borders, who had noticed that the burns on her body were so tight that they feared they might restrict her growth. When our team of doctors at the American University of Beirut Medical Center assessed her, they were also concerned by the scars.

To rectify this, Shifaa will be injected with cortisone – which will make the scar tissue more flexible and ensure the six-year old girl’s growth won’t be stinted.

Her father is very optimistic about this treatment. “I don’t want her to grow up feeling ashamed of her body,” he explains to us. “I want to see her grow up happy.”

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