(AP) An Afghan teenager who said her nose was cut off by her husband to punish her for running away has stepped out in public for the first time with a temporary prosthetic. The 19-year-old woman, identified only as Aisha, gained worldwide attention when she appeared on the August 9th cover of Time magazine.
She made her first public appearance at a gala hosted by the Grossman Burn Foundation in Calabasas, CA, which is in charge of her reconstructive surgery. Aisha received an award presented by California first lady Maria Shriver and met privately with former U.S. first lady Laura Bush, an honorary adviser of the U.S.-Afghan Women's Council. In a column published in the Washington Post, Bush said Aisha had begun a long journey to healing.
"The visible scars of her disfigurement will heal with time, but moving beyond the emotional and psychological trauma of her torturous mutilation may be more difficult," she wrote. Aisha told Time her nose was cut off by her violent husband. Doctors fitted Aisha with a temporary nose last month so she could visualize what she would look like and to help build her confidence. No timetable has been set for when she will begin the surgeries to get a new nose.
Aisha has been staying with a host family since arriving in Los Angeles this summer to undergo surgery. She is getting pre-surgery counseling to help prepare her for the operations.