Poster girl of Taliban oppression gets new nose

Last Updated 13 October 2010, 16:22 IST

The photograph of 19-year-old Aisha without a nose sparked an outpouring of sympathy. Her photograph appeared on the cover of Time magazine and it was accompanied by an article highlighting the plight of women in Afghanistan.

Daily Telegraph reported Wednesday that Aisha has received the Enduring Heart award at a benefit for the Grossman Burn Foundation that paid for her surgery in Los Angeles.

Maria Shriver, wife of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, presented the award to Aisha.

"This is the first Enduring Heart award given to a woman whose heart endures and who shows us all what it means to have love and to be the enduring heart," Shriver was quoted as saying.

Aisha said: "Thank you so much." She now has a prosthetic nose and doctors hope to give Aisha a more "permanent solution".  That may involve rebuilding her nose and ears using bone, tissue and cartilage from other parts of her body.

When Aisha was just 12, her father pledged to repay a debt by promising her in marriage to a Taliban guerrilla, the media report said.

She was abused and forced to sleep in a stable with animals. Caught while trying to escape, Aisha's nose and ears were cut off by her husband as punishment.

She told CNN: "When they cut off my nose and ears, I passed out...In the middle of the night it felt like there was cold water in my nose. I opened my eyes and I couldn't even see because of all the blood."

She then managed to reach her grandfather's house and was taken to an American medical facility. She was later flown to the US.

(Published 13 October 2010, 08:19 IST)

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