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Leukaemia Girl Goes Home

MARIAM HAMZA, the Iraqi girl brought to Britain for cancer treatment, said farewell to hospital staff yesterday before beginning her long journey home.

The four-year-old leukaemia victim (pictured above) was brought to Scotland with her grandmother in April by George Galloway the Labour MP for Glasgow Kelvin. His mission was aimed at highlighting the suffering of the Iraqi public as a result of UN sanctions, but critics accused him of allowing her plight to be used for Iraqi propaganda.

Speaking at Yorkhill Hospital, Glasgow, yesterday, Mariam's guardian in Scotland, Faten Hamed, thanked everybody for all they had done for Mariam.

She said: "We would like to thank everybody at the hospital and the Glasgow people.Everybody has been so kind and generous."

The youngster is looking forward to seeing her family again and meeting her two-month-old baby sister for the first time. She will take pounds 3,000- worth of drugs back to Iraq with her, enough to last for two years.

Mariam appeared at a public meeting in London last night, and is due to hand in a thank-you letter to the Prime Minister, Tony Blair, at Downing Street today.