OCT. 23, 2006: Noora Afif Abdulhameed is hit by a sniper’s bullet in Iraq on her way home from a family celebration. The bullet makes a large hole in her skull and destroys her cerebral membrane, the protective covering that surrounds the brain. Noora lies in a coma for 10 days.
JUNE 6, 2008: Noora and her father, Afif Abdulhameed Otaiwi, leave their hometown of Heet and travel to Amman, Jordan, the first leg of their journey to America.
JULY 10, 2008: Noora and her father arrive at the Portland Jetport, where they are greeted by a crowd of well-wishers.
JULY 15, 2008: Noora goes to Maine Medical Center for the first time for a CT scan to assess the extent of her head injury. Doctors are unable to find a usable vein because of the scar tissue she’s developed getting numerous IVs in Iraq, and the procedure is delayed for a few days.