A Touch of Mercy

August 1990
Ibtihal was 28 years old, she had just finished her PHD from England and was preparing her official papers to apply for a job in her country Kuwait. Her mother and most of the family members were strictly religious. If it wasn’t for her deceased father’s liberated mind, Ibtihal would have never had the chance to resume her education. Her dreams were high, she anticipated reaching the moon and not any position satisfied her. She had an attitude problem, she was arrogant and she did not desperately need to earn her living. Her family was well off, and she sought a job that would give a purpose to her life.
And since all the other family members were enjoying their summer vacation outside the country, to her shock, Ibtihal found herself alone amidst the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait with a sick mother and a younger brother. With scattered dreams and no security, Ibtihal cursed her fate and withdrew to the privacy of her room, refusing to participate in any activities around the house. She was bold, obnoxious and rude with everyone around.
One day her mother persuaded her to go with a bunch of other ladies to the orphanage and help in finding homes for the orphans that were left without official authorities of which most have fled the country because of the harsh conditions. Ibtihal reluctantly went just to stop her mother’s whining.
All the kids in the orphanage were secured and distributed to different Kuwaiti homes, except for Waleed. Waleed was two months old, and everyone detested the responsibility this act would entail in case no milk was to be ensured as the occupation prolonged.
And while the other women were busy finding a home for Waleed, the little angle smiled to Ibtihal, and she hesitantly approached him and touched his delicate hand, his smile widened, she cautiously carried him, his eyes were telling her one thing; take me home, I’m yours.
And without a second thought or even consulting anyone, she carried Waleed home.
March 1991
The authorities were here to take waleed back to the orphanage, he was then nine months old and he called Ibtihal mama. Ibtihal was free to pursue her career, to look up to her prosperous future and to seek the purpose of her life. And although she had formed a bond with Waleed and he had exposed a side of her that she never knew existed, but she had to let go. There was a lot to be done, and she was not sure how to begin.
But Waleed would not let go, he was sticking to her legs like glue, and his teary eyes were pleading; please mama don’t let them take me. The thought of Waleed going back to the orphanage disturbed her and without further thinking, she started at them “let go of him”.
All the other family members got into rage, how could she do that? How about her future? And now that her mom had passed away and her brothers were loaded with their own responsibilities, who would adapt the orphan. She couldn’t do that, she was a single woman with no job. And even if she did manage to adapt him, who would marry her? Who would accept a package deal?
Inattentive to her family pleadings and to the brutal system that kept her fighting for months; Ibtihal adapted Waleed. She got married ten years later and her husband accepted her son as his own, but unfortunately he passed away after two years of marriage, leaving her alone with Waleed.
Waleed enjoyed the best upbringing, in an environment of pure love and was provided with the best education anyone can hope for in Kuwait.
Waleed is now a very handsome, lively young man. And every time Ibtihal looks into his beautiful eyes she knows she had found the propose of her life.

Many times we go an extra mile to find a purpose for our lives, when in reality it’s right at the palms of our hands, we just have to open our eyes to see it.