Muntazir Somji fought back tears on national television as he told the “CBS Evening News” about a 6-year-old Afghani boy’s recovery from eye surgery.

The boy is staying at Somji’s Mooresville home this summer.

The Lake Norman chapter of Solace for the Children brought Sajad to the United States to get surgery after a bomb in the boy’s home country sent shards of glass into his face, according to the Aug. 2 report.

The segment featured footage from Lowe’s YMCA, as well as soundbites from the nonprofit’s executive director, Patsy Wilson.

The Los Angeles Times also carried a Mooresville dateline on Aug. 2, interviewing residents Asheli and Eric Thompson as well as 11-year-old Farida, who lost her left eye due to shrapnel from a Taliban bomb.

Farida’s father, Rauf, told LA Times reporter David Zucchino that people warned him that if the Taliban found out his family was working with Solace for the Children, they would cut off his head.

Last year, The Herald Weekly brought you the story of Fatima and Gulema, young Afghani sisters injured by a bomb blast during a religious celebration in Kabul. They received treatment at K2 Sports Therapy, where Kevin Kucko said, “Their bodies are so little, the shrapnel went through them like crepe paper.”

That quote has stayed with me for more than a year.

I can’t imagine a parent explaining to a child how they got scars from bomb shrapnel, much less the geopolitical conflicts involved. Nor can I imagine war, terrorism or hatred being easy topics either.

That’s why groups like Solace for the Children are necessary. The nonprofit not only heals physical wounds, but it helps repair America’s image in the Middle East.


Goodbye to a colleague

This week’s edition marks the last for Courtney Price, whose passion for community journalism helped Denver Weekly become the best source for news on the west side of Lake Norman.

She joined The Herald Weekly in August 2010 as a staff writer and launched Denver Weekly on April 1, 2011. She heads to The Charlotte Observer.


Justin Vick serves as executive editor of Lake Norman Publications. He controls the command center at Lake Norman World Headquarters.