IRAQI–AMERICAN MOTHER TO COMPETE IN IRONMAN FOR IRAQI ORPHANS
DC-based lawyer to run for orphans, displaced children in Iraq at Oct. 22 IRONMAN in Miami, FL
FALLS CHURCH, VA (Oct. 20, 2017) – The Iraqi Children Foundation (ICF) is proud to announce that Mais Abousy, an Iraqi-American mother and lawyer from the Washington, DC area, is competing Sunday, October 22, in the ‘IRONMAN 70.3 Miami’ to champion the cause of Iraq’s orphans and vulnerable kids.
“I grew up in Baghdad as a little girl before my family had to suddenly leave,” said Ms. Abousy. “I grieve for these kids and their deprived childhood. As I train for the IRONMAN, I think of the struggles that Iraqi children face. With every swim stroke, with every pedal of the bike, with every step, their pain is my pain. I want to show them that nothing is impossible and to believe in themselves and their future. I will be fueled by hope for the children of Iraq and powered by the dream that they will have hope for themselves.”
Ms. Abousy is believed to be the only Iraqi-American woman among thousands competing in Sunday’s Miami IRONMAN competition. The race includes a 1.2 miles (1.9k) swim in Biscayne Bay, a 56 mile (90K) bike race through downtown Miami, and a 13.1 mile (21K) run along the Atlantic Ocean. Her gear is adorned with US and Iraqi flags and she will cross the finish line carrying a flag for the children of Iraq.
The crisis facing Iraq’s children today is staggering. After the end of the Iraq War, UNICEF reported there were an estimated 800,000 orphans. The subsequent invasion of Iraq by ISIS displaced an estimated 1.3 million kids, displacing them from their homes, schools, and friends. Across Iraq, thousands of children work, some as street kids selling water or items on the streets of Baghdad, and others working at city trash dumps or working in businesses or homes.
To complement her race efforts, Ms. Abousy is raising support for Baghdad’s first “Hope Bus,” – a mobile classroom that provides tutoring, nutritious meals, health and psychosocial care, and childhood fun for desperately poor orphans, street kids, and displaced children.
“To save Iraq’s future, we must save its children,” says Abousy. “That is what the Hope Bus is about.”
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