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Zeenabdeen Hadi was severely wounded in Iraq when (Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Zeenabdeen Hadi was severely wounded in Iraq when a live electrical cable lashed across his face, burning some of the skin down to the bone. (April 21, 2011)

Iraqi 4-year-old on LI for facial surgery

Zeenabdeen Hadi, 4, arrived on Long Island the night of April 20, 2011, to begin a medical journey his uncle -- his guardian and chaperone -- hopes will let him enjoy his childhood. The Iraqi boy's face was disfigured before his first birthday when a car bomb exploded outside his home in Dujail, 35 miles north of Baghdad.

Zeenabdeen Hadi, 4, chats with his uncle Hasan
(Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Zeenabdeen Hadi, 4, chats with his uncle Hasan Hadi Khazaal, 21, at the Ronald McDonald House in New Hyde Park. Abdeen, as the younger Hadi is called, has been cared for by his uncle ever since his parents abandoned him after his injury. (Aug. 31, 2011)

Zeenabdeen Hadi, 4, has been self-conscious since recent
(Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Zeenabdeen Hadi, 4, has been self-conscious since recent operations to eliminate major burn scars on his face. But in the TV room at the Ronald McDonald House in New Hyde Park, he can laugh and play with fellow children on a medical journey. (Aug. 31, 2011)

Zeenabdeen Hadi plays with Woody, a character from
(Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Zeenabdeen Hadi plays with Woody, a character from "The Toy Story" movies, while visiting friends in Hauppauge. (Aug. 31, 2011)

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Scarring from the blast was so severe that
(Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Scarring from the blast was so severe that Zeenabdeen Hadi's mouth is barely functional. But the 4-year-old has been receiving treatments to reconstruct his face. (Aug. 31, 2011)

Zeenabdeen Hadi watches his uncle through a window
(Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Zeenabdeen Hadi watches his uncle through a window to the backyard of the Ronald McDonald House in New Hyde Park. (Aug. 31, 2011)

Zeenabdeen Hadi, 4, and his uncle Hasan Hadi
(Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Zeenabdeen Hadi, 4, and his uncle Hasan Hadi Khazaal share some funny moments at the Ronald McDonald House in New Hyde Park. (Aug. 31, 2011)

Zeenabdeen Hadi hangs out in front of the
(Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Zeenabdeen Hadi hangs out in front of the TV before dinnertime at Ronald McDonald House in New Hyde Park. (Aug. 31, 2011)

Zeenabdeen Hadi spending time with Tyler-Jeanne Meyer while
(Credit: J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Zeenabdeen Hadi spending time with Tyler-Jeanne Meyer while visiting her at her home in Hauppauge. (Aug. 3, 2011)

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Zeenabdeen Hadi waits with little patience for Tyler-Jeanne
(Credit: J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Zeenabdeen Hadi waits with little patience for Tyler-Jeanne Meyer to pour him a cup of juice while visiting her in Hauppauge. (Aug. 3, 2011)

Zeenabdeen Hadi dances on a trampoline while
(Credit: J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Zeenabdeen Hadi dances on a trampoline while visiting a friend in Hauppauge. (Aug. 3, 2011)

Zeenabdeen Hadi looks worried while sitting on his
(Credit: J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Zeenabdeen Hadi looks worried while sitting on his uncle Hasan Khazaal's lap, watching the nurse fill a large syringe that will be used to inflat Hadi's face. (July 14, 2011)

Dr. Kaveh Alizadeh talks about how he will
(Credit: J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Dr. Kaveh Alizadeh talks about how he will inflate Zeenabdeen Hadi face at the Long Island Plastic Surgical Group office in Manhasset. (July 14, 2011)

Dr. Kaveh Alizadeh begins injecting the ballons that
(Credit: J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Dr. Kaveh Alizadeh begins injecting the ballons that will be inserted into Zeenabdeen Hadi's face. (July 14, 2011)

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Zeenabdeen Hadi bracing himself for a very painful
(Credit: J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Zeenabdeen Hadi bracing himself for a very painful procedure while he is held down by a nurse and his uncle Hasan Khazaal at the Long Island Plastic Surgical Group office in Manhasset. (July 14, 2011)

After a very painful procedure of having his
(Credit: J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

After a very painful procedure of having his face stretched, Zeenabdeen Hadi is held and comforted by his uncle Hasan Khazaal and office worker at the Long Island Plastic Surgical Group office in Manhasset. (July 14, 2011)

Zeenabdeen Hadi and his uncle Hasan Khazaal share
(Credit: J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Zeenabdeen Hadi and his uncle Hasan Khazaal share a moment together before Hadi's procedure at the Long Island Plastic Surgical Group office in Manhasset. (July 14, 2011)

Zeenabdeen Hadi keeps close to his uncle, Hasan
(Credit: J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Zeenabdeen Hadi keeps close to his uncle, Hasan Khazaal, before a painful procedure at the Long Island Plastic Surgical Group office in Manhasset. (July 14, 2011)

Hasan Khazaal talks on a special phone that
(Credit: J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Hasan Khazaal talks on a special phone that works as a translater between doctor and caregiver with nephew Zeenabdeen Hadi waits on his hospital bed in Winthrop University Hospital in Mineola. (May 27, 2011)

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Hasan Khazaal talking with his nephew Zeenabdeen Hadi
(Credit: J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Hasan Khazaal talking with his nephew Zeenabdeen Hadi before his operation at Winthrop University Hospital in Mineola. (May 27, 2011)

Iraqi boy Zeenabdeen Hadi rests in his uncle
(Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Iraqi boy Zeenabdeen Hadi rests in his uncle Hasan Khazaal's arms while celebrating his 4th birthday at the Long Island Plastic Surgical Group in Garden City. (April 27, 2011)

Dr. Kaveh Alizadeh, at the podium, describes what
(Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Dr. Kaveh Alizadeh, at the podium, describes what happens next to Zeenabdeen Hadi. (April 27, 2011)

Zeenabdeen Hadi, with the help of Elissa Montanti,
(Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Zeenabdeen Hadi, with the help of Elissa Montanti, blows out candles as he celebrates his 4th birthday during a press conference at the Long Island Plastic Surgical Group. (April 27, 2011)

Zeenabdeen Hadi was severely wounded in Iraq when
(Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Zeenabdeen Hadi was severely wounded in Iraq when a live electrical cable lashed across his face, burning some of the skin down to the bone. (April 21, 2011)

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Zeenabdeen Hadi arrives on Long Island. The three-year-old
(Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Zeenabdeen Hadi arrives on Long Island. The three-year-old boy who was injured when he was 11-months-old outside his home in Dujail, a city in north Baghdad, will get medical treatment from Dr. Kaveh Alizadeh, a plastic surgeon from Manhasset. (April 20, 2011)

Zeenabdeen Hadi is in New York with his
(Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Zeenabdeen Hadi is in New York with his uncle Hasan Khazaal, who, then 17 years old, had rushed to the then-infant's aid after the disfiguring injury. (April 20, 2011)

Zeenabdeen Hadi was shunned by doctors in Iraq,
(Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Zeenabdeen Hadi was shunned by doctors in Iraq, who had advised his caretaking uncle to let the boy die. It was an American soldier in Iraq who told the uncle, Hasan Khazaal, about the New York nonprofit that helped organize the 3-year-old's upcoming surgeries. (April 20, 2011)

(Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

"We only have God and you," Zeenabdeen Hadi's uncle told Dr. Kaveh Alizadeh, the plastic surgeon from Manhasset who recently examined the child. (April 22, 2011)

If all goes well in the intial stages
(Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

If all goes well in the intial stages of surgery, Dr. Kaveh Alizadeh says, Zeenabdeen Hadi will have skin grafted to his face from other parts of his body. (April 20, 2011)

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“He is not afraid,” Hasan Khazaal said of
(Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

“He is not afraid,” Hasan Khazaal said of nephew Zeenabdeen Hadi. “He just wants to know how they [doctors] are going to fix him.” Khazaal, who turns 21 this month, dropped out of high school to take care of his nephew. (April 20, 2011)

Zeenabdeen Hadi has his first U.S. doctor visit
(Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Zeenabdeen Hadi has his first U.S. doctor visit April 21, 2011, at the Long Island Plastic Surgical Group office in Manhasset, where he will get medical treatment from Dr. Kaveh Alizadeh. (April 21, 2011)

Dr. Kaveh Alizadeh said the threat of infection
(Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Dr. Kaveh Alizadeh said the threat of infection will force him to prioritize the damage to the boy’s skull. (April 21, 2011)

Zeenabdeen Hadi seemed less apprehensive by the end
(Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Zeenabdeen Hadi seemed less apprehensive by the end of his first doctor's visit in the United States. (April 21, 2011)

Zeenabdeen Hadi's surgeries will take months. It will
(Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Zeenabdeen Hadi's surgeries will take months. It will be a long and potentially painful experience for the Iraqi boy. (April 21, 2011)

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Zeenabdeen Hadi, with his uncle Hasan Khazaal, has
(Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Zeenabdeen Hadi, with his uncle Hasan Khazaal, has his first doctor visit on April 21, 2011, at the Long Island Plastic Surgical Group office in Manhasset. (April 21, 2011)

Hasan Khazaal, left, pulled Zeenabdeen Hadi from daycare
(Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Hasan Khazaal, left, pulled Zeenabdeen Hadi from daycare because the other kids were harassing him too much. (April 21, 2011)

Zeenabdeen Hadi hangs out at Ronald McDonald House,
(Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.)

Zeenabdeen Hadi hangs out at Ronald McDonald House, where he will be staying for the duration of his medical care. (April 22, 2011)

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