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Malak Elshami, 5, arrives at Ronald McDonald House
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Malak Elshami, 5, arrives at Ronald McDonald House in New Hyde Park with her father, Mustafa, center, and mother, Safia, left, to a welcome party thrown by her new playmates and Elissa Montanti, who organizes the children’s medical trips to the United States. (July 28, 2011)(Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

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A second chance for child victims of war

Malak Elshami, 5, arrived on Long Island with her father on July 28, 2011. Malak survived a missile fired by troops loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi that killed her two siblings in May, but the attack severed one of her legs. In a New Hyde Park guesthouse, Malak joined a half-dozen other children wounded in war zones around the world. Two boys from Iraq were injured in bombings in 2008: Sajjad Hadi, 7, lost a leg while Zeenabdeen Hadi, 4, had facial scars. Brought to the United States for medical care by Elissa Montanti of Staten Island, the children stay at the Ronald McDonald House while they receive treatment from a group of Long Island doctors. This is the children’s story of hope -- and a second chance.