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Friday 28 April 2017

Taliban oppression poster girl unveils new nose

Aisha, 19, received an Enduring Heart award at a benefit for the Grossman Burn Foundation, which paid for her surgery, in Los Angeles. Photo: Getty Images
Aisha, 19, received an Enduring Heart award at a benefit for the Grossman Burn Foundation, which paid for her surgery, in Los Angeles. Photo: Getty Images
Time magazine cover from August 2008 showing Aisha, 19, who was mutilated by her husband, a Taliban fighter. Photo: Time magazine

Toby Harnden

A woman who became the poster girl of Taliban oppression in Afghanistan after being mutilated by her husband has unveiled her new face to the world.

The image of Aisha, 19, without a nose, prompted a worldwide outpouring of sympathy after it appeared on the cover of Time Magazine accompanying an article highlighting the plight of women in Afghanistan.

She appeared before the cameras to receive an Enduring Heart award at a benefit for the Grossman Burn Foundation, which paid for her surgery, in Los Angeles.

Maria Shriver, wife of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's and California's first lady, presented the award.

"This is the first Enduring Heart award given to a woman whose heart endures and who shows us all what it means to have love and to be the enduring heart," Miss Shriver said.

Aisha, whose surname has never been disclosed, responded: "Thank you so much."

When Aisha was 12, her father vowed to repay a debt by promising her in marriage to a Taliban fighter. She was handed over to the fighter's family, abused and made to sleep in a stable with animals.

She was caught after trying to escape and her nose and ears were sliced off by her husband as a punishment.

"When they cut off my nose and ears, I passed out," she told CNN. "In the middle of the night it felt like there was cold water in my nose. I opened my eyes and I couldn't even see because of all the blood."

After being left for dead in the mountains, she crawled to her grandfather's house and was taken to an American medical facility.

Following time time at a shelter in Kabul, she was flown to the US by the Grossman Burn Foundation in August and stayed with an American family.

This month, she had a prosthetic nose fitted at the West Hills Hospital. Dr Peter H Grossman said they hoped to give Aisha a more "permanent solution".

This might involve rebuilding her nose and ears using bone, tissue and cartilage from other parts of her body.

Telegraph.co.uk

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