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.

10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Eva
    Mar 25, 2005 @ 00:54:00

    touchfull story !

    what if she let him go , or he let her go …
    i don’t like ‘ What If Q’s ‘.. but they came up to me with this story ..

    Rabbi Ekhallehum 7ag ba3ath .. Ebtihal did the right thing in her life .. and Waleed.. He’s Lucky to get a mom like her : )

    Thanks Ruby (F)


  2. UzF
    Mar 25, 2005 @ 06:10:00

    very inspiring..
    good luck for both of them.


  3. Peach
    Mar 25, 2005 @ 08:22:00

    That is so sweet 😉

    But it still doesn’t answer how u find the meaning in your life? do we have to wait for another invasin! I’m looking. but I can’t find it!


  4. Bloo
    Mar 25, 2005 @ 10:26:00

    how ever beautiful this true thing is… and even if my extra mile will take me to something more beautiful than what i wish for… but really, i think in my heart of hearts, i wish what i want would actually happen.

    thank you , this post is touching extremely.


  5. AyyA
    Mar 25, 2005 @ 13:27:00

    It was fate dear, so there is no “WHAT IF’S” here; she trusted her instincts regardless of the awkwardness of the situation. And I think Waleed was god’s mercy to Ibtihal knowing what she had to go through in her life.

    This story was an inspiration to me as well, it is a real story by the way, but in respect to Ibtihal’s privacy, I had to twitch the facts a bit so that her identity stays anonymous. Ibtihal is one of my most loving and respected friends.

    The thing is, you don’t look for the meaning of your life, you will see it sooner or later, and this is the whole point. And no you don’t have to wait for another envision, these occasions come in different styles with different circumstances for each of us. You just have to trust your intuition.

    Fist welcome to my humble quarters, and thank you.
    Second; it is always nice to get what we want in life, and our efforts to reach that is the dynamo that keeps our ambition running. But when we didn’t get there no matter how much we tried, how would you know if it wasn’t for better? Only time can be the judge.


  6. Ms.Baker
    Mar 25, 2005 @ 14:33:00

    Thank you thank you ruby for this story, which has volumes of meaning for me. I wished I had the opportunity to do what Ibtihal did, especially with these invasion babies. Motherhood, the most powerful force in the universe, transforms the woman to whom it is granted. God intersects the path’s of those who need each other for a reason.
    Written beautifully too 🙂


  7. ananyah
    Mar 25, 2005 @ 17:19:00

    wow! its so touching that a person can do this.

    I hope Waleed is happy and lives a good life


  8. AyyA
    Mar 25, 2005 @ 19:01:00

    Yeh I can see why you sympathized with Ibtihal, and remember that she was not the responsible type or the type that would voluntarily do that. She just found herself in that situation, and acted at the spur of the moment not knowing that this was her destiny. And thanks dear for the compliment.

    Waleed is a very happy young man, and Ibtihal never kept any secret from him, he knows it all, and when she got married he told his mom: god has given me a mom and now a loving dad, but the tragedy of the dad’s death is still fresh in their memories, nevertheless; both of them feel lucky that they spent two beautiful years with him.

    There is another lesson to learn from this story;
    A lot of single girls curse their luck when time passes them by while they wait for Mr. right to appear in their lives. Some of them might even get into wrong relationships just for that sake; this tells them that it is never too late or impossible. And whatever is your destiny be thankful because you never know what awaits you.


  9. Jewaira
    Mar 26, 2005 @ 11:10:00

    This is a very inspiring story. There is such a stigma attached to adopted kids in our countries. How many people can go that extra step and do something for others, without thinking selfishly?
    Very rare to take on such a responsibility but such a person will surely be blessed.


  10. AyyA
    Mar 26, 2005 @ 18:16:00

    You are so damn right, and I can’t understand why the adoption issue is treated with such disgrace, but I think it’s getting more so in this generation. My mother told me that in her time (in the 60’s) there were more families that accepted adoption provided that the name is not inherited for financial inheritance issues according to the Islamic rules. But most of those who adopted a child would include him/her in his will. Such a nice act that surprise me why it did not continue. Now most of us mark the orphans and punish them for their parent’s mistakes, and even when he/she is reared in a good respectable environment, we refuse to mix with them, and very few parents who are not blessed with children would consider adoption, while in the west most fight to get it.


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