I hold my daughter firmly, hands hooked under arms, fingers pressing tight but not too tight; I hold her out, away from my body, and she smiles at me, with her six little teeth. She must feel weightless, her legs kick and wiggle. I’ve never been in love like this before. She wears cute dresses, with chubby arms and legs that stick out like a plastic doll. Her hair curls and falls in her face, so I blow it away and she giggles. She is the most beautiful thing in my life. She will turn one this month.
Today I saw a photograph of a girl who resembled my daughter, she wore a dress, and was held by a man in the way I hold her, hands under both arms, away from his body, with arms and legs sticking out. But she had no head. She was dead. Beheaded. The man inspected her like an animal, a man in the background looked sick, with his hand over his head. Her severed neck did not show, her shoulders were covered by blood-laced sleeves.
My daughter crawls over to me and pulls herself up on the arm of my chair. She will walk soon. Her mother picks her up and nurses her.
Sam has more, including a link to a heartfelt plea from the President of the Assembly of Catholic Bishops in Iraq and a call to prayer.
God help them. God help us.