Stars Rally for Young Iraqi War Victim

updated 05/07/2003 at 12:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/07/2003 5:11PM

Christina Aguilera, Angelina Jolie, Mariah Carey, Ashanti, Justin Timberlake and Arnold Schwarzenegger are rising to the defense of 12-year-old Ali Ismail Abbas, a limbless Iraqi orphan who has become a symbol of civilian suffering in the recent war.

According to France's AFP news agency, the all-star group of angels is working to bring the boy to Los Angeles for medical treatment.

"We've just launched this effort, but my hope is that with the help of these stars we can raise enough money to cover his medical treatment and then take care of this child for the rest of his life," said Hollywood marketing expert Cheryl Schuman, who helped organize the effort.

She also said that George Clooney and Julia Roberts are soon set to join the effort.

"He needs prostheses and he is very, very badly burned and there's just no money to help him and maybe nowhere for him to go."

She added: "Everybody knows that celebrities can get things done that other people can't, which is sad but true, so we are doing everything we can to help and to get him over here."

Schuman is working with the non-profit Global Medical Relief Fund, which helps children who have fallen victim to war.

Ali, who last week was undergoing medical treatment in Kuwait for burns that cover 60 percent of his body, was maimed on March 30, when he was caught in a missile strike. He was the sole survivor among 20 people who were killed, including his parents, brothers and sisters.

"We will bring him here where he can finally feel safe. A lot of these celebrities, including Arnold Schwarzenegger, will hang out with him and my ultimate goal is to do a benefit concert to raise cash for him," Schuman said.

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