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Published: Tuesday, August 19, 2008, 9:35 p.m.

Blinded Iraqi boy 'Hamoody' gets asylum to stay in U.S.

  • Randy and Julie Smith of Snohomish, hold 5-year-old Muhammed "Hamoody" Hussein. The couple have been foster parenting the boy who was shot i...

    Dan Bates / Herald file photo

    Randy and Julie Smith of Snohomish, hold 5-year-old Muhammed "Hamoody" Hussein. The couple have been foster parenting the boy who was shot in the face in Baghdad in May 2005.

SNOHOMISH -- A blind Iraqi boy who was brought to Snohomish after being shot in the face in Iraq received political asylum on Monday, his foster mother said.
Muhammed "Hamoody" Jauda, 5, will be able to live with his Snohomish foster parents, Randy and Julie Robinett Smith.
A lawyer working pro bono filed a petition in May seeking asylum on behalf of Hammoody. Asylum will let the boy stay in America legally, even though his visa expired on May 16.
Hamoody was 2 when he and his family were attacked in Baghdad in May 2005. He was shot in the face with a shotgun. He lost his right eye; his remaining eye went blind.
A year later, Hamoody was brought to Snohomish by Healing the Children, a Spokane-based international nonprofit group that helps children get medical treatment. Since then, Hamoody has lived with the Smiths. He has undergone two surgeries to rebuild his face and help him breathe.
Originally, Hamoody was scheduled to go back to Iraq after receiving medical treatment. That changed when doctors decided that the boy will not regain his eyesight. His parents have asked the Smiths to raise their son in America.

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