Soniah Kamal

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'Islam is not Pakistan's religion; Marriage is'

Friday, April 18, 2008

A photograph I wish I'd never seen.

© Jean-Marc Bouju/The Associated Press
An Iraqi man comforts his son at a holding pen for POWs in Najaf, Iraq, March 31, 2003. -- World Press Photo of the Year

There is a picture of a man behind barbed in an orange jump suit his face covered by a hoodie holding a little child. Even though I can no longer locate the photo, it is one I wish I'd never seen. But I did see it. It still haunts me. And even today I feel selfish for wishing I'd never seen it-- I felt so ashamed of myself wishing I'd been spared the pain of mere empathy when this father and son, when other parents and children live/or die through this. What was that little boy thinking and feeling? What is that little boy feeling and thinking today? And the father who can only touch his son? Shit world that allows for such circumstances. Someone once informed me the father and son are lucky because at least they got to meet each other and this proves that the captors are humane.
Really? I said. Is that so? Its a topsy turvy world, isn't it, so kcuf u.

"Bouju says the child in the photo caught his attention because it was wailing and screaming. A soldier walked into the holding pen and cut the father's handcuffs so he could comfort the child.
"I have a four-year-old girl and I missed her a lot and I thought she'd be screaming too," Bouju says. "It touched me."
Shortly after the picture was taken, another unit came and took the prisoners away, including the young boy. Bouju was not able to get the name of the father or the son or determine what, if anything, they had done wrong.
rest here"

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