The image of Samar, then 5 years old, screaming and splattered in blood after American soldiers opened fire on her family’s car in the northern town of Tal Afar in January 2005, illuminated the horror of civilian casualties and has been one of the few images from this conflict to rise to the pantheon of classic war photography. The picture has gained renewed attention as part of a large body of work by Chris Hondros, the Getty Images photographer recently killed on the front lines in Misurata, Libya.
The photograph of Samar is frozen in history, but her life moved on, across a trajectory that is emblematic of what so many Iraqis have endured. In a country whose health care system has almost no ability to treat the psychological aspects of trauma, thousands of Iraqis are left alone with their torment.
She had never seen the picture until this week, but she said she understood that it showed the world “the sad thing that is happening in Iraq.”