A few days ago, I saw a photo
shared to Twitter of Sham, a young Syrian girl rescued from under the rubble in northwest Syria, sitting upright in her hospital bed, According to the Syrian Civil Defense, a volunteer humanitarian group also known as the White Helmets, Sham will lose both her legs because of injuries from the quake.
When Akanni’s mother died in early 2018, she stopped eating for three weeks. Her mood became unpredictable; she was often shouting or sulking angrily. Medicine from a local pharmacist didn’t help. At a loss for what to do to handle the trauma, Akanni’s father took her to a church in Abeokuta, Ogun state, in Nigeria. And then he left her there.
The day I met Julija she was playing cheerfully with her baby sister on the floor inside their room in Kragujevac, a small town in southern Serbia. When she saw me – a stranger -- on the doorstep, she smiled widely and stretched out her hands, offering a hug. As I held her, I could hear how difficult it was for her to breathe. I looked at her, she smiled and touched my face with her hands and only then did I see that Julija’s fingers were webbed.
Last week, I went to see the new flick “Love & Mercy,” about the life of Brian Wilson, a singer, songwriter, and the genius behind The Beach Boys. I hadn’t heard much about the film. In fact, I was expecting a summer movie about surfing and fun; The Beach Boys playing Kokomo, Good Vibrations, and Surfin’ U.S.A. on sunny California beaches.