1. Within weeks of getting a prosthetic arm after a horrific war injury, 7-year-old Afghan girl Shah Bibi Tarahkhail is being hailed as a “mind-blowing” abstract artist by a famous painter.
Afghan war victim Shah Bibi Tarakhail uses her new prosthetic arm to paint during a private session with artist Dayvd Whaley at Galerie Michael in Beverly Hills, Calif., on April 2.
2. Shah Bibi was hurt less than a year ago, after she went outside one morning to play with her brother the night after a violent battle between Taliban fighters and U.S. military forces, the Daily Mail reports.
“There was what looked like a rock that she picked up and threw on the ground and it exploded,” said Ilaha Omar, a Children of War Foundation member who brought the young girl to the U.S. to be treated for free at Shriners Hospital for Children Los Angeles.
The explosion destroyed most of her right arm and her right eye, scarred her face, and killed her brother.
4. While learning to use her new arm by spending time with abstract artist Davyd Whaley, Shah Bibi has discovered a new talent, with Whaley calling one of her paintings “pretty mind-blowing.”
The child impressed him not just with her ability to handle a brush, he said, but with her grasp of matching colors.
“She kind of has a facility for it if she wants to pursue it,” Whaley said, who currently has his own large exhibit at Galerie Michael.
5. Shah Bibi, who is fluent in Afghan languages but picked up a bit of English, has an affinity for American culture: She arrived at the gallery in a pair of Minnie Mouse shoes and sometimes sang along to “Let it Go” while she painted.
Galerie Michael owner Michael Schwartz (center) looks on at Shah Bibi painting.
6. The 7-year-old will return to her family next week, but Children of War has plans to bring her back next year to fit her with a prosthetic eye and take care of her facial scars.
Shah takes a selfie with Ilaha Omar, a Children of War Foundation member, during a painting session.