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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Libyan Rebels Heal Wounds Of War At Massachusetts Hospital

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Osama El Amin  receives treatment for injuries sustained during fighting in his home country at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Salem, Mass. (Emily Chou/Here & Now)Meftah Mokhtar Hamad, who is getting treatment at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Salem, Mass. for injuries sustained during fighting in Libya. (Emily Chou/Here & Now)Salim Aburas who is receiving treatment at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Salem, Mass. (Emily Chou/Here & Now)A sign made for Libyan rebels who are learning English while receiving treatment at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Salem, Mass. (Emily Chou/Here & Now)Physical therapy equipment with Arabic signage for Libyan rebels who are receiving treatment at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Salem, Mass. (Emily Chou/Here & Now)The prayer room set up for Libyan visitors at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Salem, Mass. (Emily Chou/Here & Now)

We recently got a chance to sit down with a number of Libyans who were wounded while fighting to oust Moammar Gadhafi. They were in the U.S after being flown by the U.S. State Department with funds from Libya’s Transitional Council to Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Salem, Massachusetts.

The 22 men, ranging in age from 17 to 49, are being treated for a wide array of injuries — from spinal damage and broken bones to bullet wounds.

To accommodate their guests, hospital staff have been specially trained in Libyan customs and Islamic religious practices, including setting up a Muslim prayer room and tagging things with sticky notes in Arabic so that the Libyans know who’s who and what’s what. We recently visited them at the Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital.


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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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