This is Buthaina. She has overcome SO MUCH in a couple weeks. Her home was hit by a Saudi-led coalition airstrike in the middle of the night. Her parents, siblings, and an uncle were killed. But she made it. Another uncle pulled her from the rubble and is now her guardian along with her aunt.
A social media campaign started after a picture of her came out from the hospital of her holding one eye open while trying to see who was speaking to her.
At her hospital room this week, Buthaina is surrounded by relatives and well-wishers. The walls are decorated with children’s drawings and balloons cover the ground.
Doctors say Buthaina has a fractured skull and many bruises to her body. Her uncle says they don’t know when she will be discharged from the hospital.
The young girl’s cousins try to entertain her with dolls. Buthaina, her rumpled curly hair tied in a ponytail, sits at the center of the gathering.
“She lost her entire family. It’s been 10 days since they died and she still asks her uncle when her parents will visit her,” Yasser al-Ghori, head of the emergency department of the hospital treating Buthaina, told CNN.
“I can never replace Buthaina’s father but she is my daughter now and will be forever. We hope our loss will lead to the end of the nearly three-year war that devastated Yemen and killed thousands of innocent children,” Ali al-Raimi, Buthaina’s uncle and guardian, told CNN.
Late at night, Buthaina wakes up screaming and crying, said her aunt Samah al-Raimi, who has been sleeping next to her. The woman added that she has trouble knowing whether the source of Buthaina’s anguish is physical pains or bad dreams about the deadly night.
“Buthaina is a priority to me and I give her double personal time, compared to my daughter Sumayya. That is still not enough because the tragedy she went through cannot be forgotten, not now, not forever,” Samah al-Raimi told CNN.
While her emotional injuries will always be there, Buthaina has overcome her some of her physical ones. Here she is today during her visit with Yemen’s former president: