Arefa with her host family, sisters Jami Valentine (left) and Staci Freeman. Doctors in the U.S. have been treating Arefa's third-degree burns, and also performed skin-graft surgery for the top of her head. Each morning still requires a fresh dressing.<strong> </strong>
Credit Gloria Hillard for NPR
Valentine and Freeman greet Arefa after she arrived at LAX in June.
There is limited medical infrastructure in war-torn Afghanistan, so severely wounded children are sometimes brought to the U.S. for medical care. Doctors in America say that for one little girl, her struggle to stay alive for three years until finding her way from central Afghanistan to a hospital in Los Angeles is nothing short of a miracle.
The protests and violence aimed at U.S. interests in the Middle East have set off a domestic debate about what the U.S. could or should do to relate to new political movements in the region. The Obama administration says it will continue to engage the region. The campaign of Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential candidate, says the U.S. needs to do more to lead.
But there are others who say that both parties have it wrong, and that U.S. policies from both Republican and Democratic administrations have failed.