Dear Reader, my daughter is 3.5 years old now, but I still feel the same as when I wrote this three years ago. Jennah in Arabic means heaven and she has continued to be my little piece of heaven on earth.
Dear Baby Jennah,
Before you were born, I imagined all of the life skills I would be teaching you; but in the last 5 months of your existence, you have taught me more about life than all my 27 years on this earth.
YOU DO NOT JUDGE those who are different from you or know what it means to be different!
YOU GIVE FREE SMILES to anyone you meet!
YOU APPRECIATE everything you see around you including your hands–which you stare at and play with for several minutes!
YOU HAVE NO EGO and take the time to babble to anyone you meet.
YOU FORGIVE and FORGET even when mommy accidently nicked your finger when trying to clip your nails!
YOU HAVE SIMPLE NEEDS: sleep, food, security.
YOU LAUGH even when your teeth hurt and you didn’t sleep well the night before!
YOU ARE PURE LOVE and HAVE NO HATE IN YOUR HEART.
Yet the WORLD calls you a TERRORIST. The WORLD says your life is of lesser value because you will grow up to be ‘”one of them.”
I wish I could keep you as a baby a little longer, so you never know what it feels like to be hated, judged, under-appreciated, looked down upon, or ridiculed. I wish you could continue to feel nothing but LOVE in your own little world where GREED and HATE do not exist.
I PRAY that you never feel embarrassed to be American, Lebanese, and Tunisian and that you are not kicked off an airplane for speaking Arabic. I PRAY that when you show your teacher that amazing clock you engineered, you aren’t arrested! I PRAY that when you wear hijab during Halloween, you will not be asked if you are dressed as a terrorist. I PRAY that you never lose your PURE LOVE for others, even towards those who mistreat you.
I PRAY for all the babies around the world like you who are not safe, and for the mothers who are not worth helping because they are not “white” enough or “too Muslim.”
Dear angel baby, don’t grow up too fast because at 5 months you have more to teach the world about PEACE than adults do today.
Love your mommy,Anisa Diab
Anisa Diab received her B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Spanish from Salisbury University, and her M.S. in Community Counseling from the University of Scranton. Diab is a Licensed Professional Counselor, National Certified Counselor, and Distance Credentialed Counselor in good standing. Most recently, Anisa Diab worked as Coordinator for the STAND4YOU suicide prevention program at Salisbury University’s Counseling Center. Currently, Anisa works as a Crisis Counselor for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and also provides distance-based counseling services. She also owns her own distance-based counseling website at anisadiab.com where she works with Muslims to make mental health support more accessible and less stigmatizing. Anisa collaborates with campuses, youth groups, and other organizations to offer presentations on mental health and wellness, suicide prevention, Islamic teachings, and dealing with Islamophobia.