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STILL HAUNTED BY HUNGER

HD: Hassan's New Life

Hassan Riyole has made a remarkable comeback from the doorstep of starvation.

He remains small for his 10 years, but Hassan's once-emaciated body has filled out.

The painful scabies that encrusted his hands and feet are gone.

Once nearly deaf and dumb, his hearing has improved and he speaks shyly. He has made friends again.

"I would like to learn the Koran and go to school," Hassan said, occasionally wringing his hands and fingers.

But he also is easily frightened and prone to fits of crying, evidence of emotional scars that may never heal.

Hassan's is just one of the many tragedies of lost childhood in Somalia, where an estimated 350,000 people died last year from civil war, famine and disease.

Among the fatalities: about one-fourth of all Somali children under age 5.

Despite a vast relief effort and a U.N. military force deployed to keep the peace, the future remains cloudy for Hassan and Somalia.

with his father in December, Hassan was on the brink of starvation. His weight dropped to 22 pounds. Then a pregnant refugee began tending Hassan. Osman Riyole looks upon Hassan's survival as a small miracle: "It is the will of Allah."

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