GIVING A HUMAN FACE TO EVIL OF WAR
Being assigned to report on a conflict is probably the most thrilling, yet terrifying mission a journalist could get.
Hala Jaber had been a journalist for many years and had reported from many war-torn areas before one assignment would truly change her life.
She was assigned to Baghdad, Iraq, in 2003 to find a "special orphan" to be the face of her newspaper's campaign shortly after the American invasion.
The orphan had to be badly injured, but still beautiful enough to tug at readers' heart strings. After trawling many hospitals, Jaber instead found two girls whose tale of survival would hurtle her in an emotional roller coaster that would change her perspective of the war.
Three-year-old Zahra and her newborn sister Harwa were the only survivors of a missile strike that killed their parents and five siblings. Thrown out of her parents' burning car while fleeing an attack on their modest home, Harwa survived with minor injuries oblivious to the bloodshed and hostility.
It became Jaber's mission to find Zahra the best medical treatment and to ensure her survival after promising the girls' granny that she would look after them.
Driven by a need to provide security for the girls because of her inability to have her own children, Jaber worked tirelessly to ensure their survival. But her hopes to adopt the two were shattered when Zahra finally succumbed to her injuries. Though ravaged by guilt and a sense of failure, she maintained her relationship with the granny and eventually fulfilled her promise.