5, 11:00 PM PST
Starving, Homeless Children: "Mars
FALUJAH, Iraq -- Despite the constant threat of disease,
hunger and U.S. air strikes, children of third-world nations
are celebrating the landing of NASA's rover "Spirit"
on Mars this past weekend.
"Allah be praised, Allah
is great!" declared nine-year-old Aman Juhabid from a refugee
camp outside of Baghdad.
In a nation of 25 million people, anywhere
from seven to 12.5 million are homeless, but lack of proper sanitation
has not derailed Aman's enthusiasm for the first successful Mars
landing in recent years.
"A U.S. soldier, he describe
to me the first pictures, how they resemble my homeland so much,"
Aman continued. "It makes me feel proud and special. Someday
I hope to see Mars, as well as this thing you call 'television.'"
Aman then excused himself, citing
extreme fatigue due to his lentils-only diet. However, he is
not the only malnourished child to cheer the U.S. effort on Mars.
"I am happy, so very happy
to be a citizen of world as humanity... humanity... ERK --"
started Mohammed Kutchemeshgi, an 11-year-old who hailed from
earthquake-wracked Bam, Iraq. He was unable to finish his statement
before passing on for lack of water.
"I see a pictures, it is
a wonderful, it is a heaven," said eight-year-old Faruk
Ahkmed Margadessi of Kabul, Afghanistan. The boy, crippled by
a landmine at last year, recently wrote a letter to George W.
Bush, urging him to invest "trillions and trillions more"
in future space-exploration adventures.
"I think one day I want
to live on this Mars," Faruk declared. "It looks a
lot like Kansas, and probably has less landmines than my own
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