Mazin bends his head to the table and cries.

His niece in Baghdad has been kidnapped.

She is twenty years old.

Masked men surrounded her and pulled her away

from her mother’s outstretched hands.

into a car. They were like a tsunami.

Iraq is a tsunami in slow motion.

I wake at night and wonder if she is alive

and if she is what her life is like.

To be in a cage of strange hands

Can only be a nightmare.”

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Diaries of a Grumpy Old Transman