Our Gal in Iraq

elizabIn the last episode (“Our Gal in Kabul”), daughter Elizabeth (now 23) was headed to a job with a humanitarian organization in Afghanistan, to sort out the country’s problems. Having put Afghanistan to rights, next she’s off to Iraq.

This time she’ll be working for the Danish Refugee Council (her third NGO), a topnotch outfit which she rates very highly, an opportunity she couldn’t refuse.

She’ll be stationed in Erbil, in the good part of Iraq. The one with sun-drenched beaches, four-star hotels and restaurants, spas, designer stores, opera. Well, okay – just sun-drenched. unknownActually, this is Iraqi Kurdistan which, though not without its problems, has put distance between itself and the mess that is the rest of Iraq. The Kurds have a long history of being America’s friends; we haven’t always done enough right by them; I’m gratified Elizabeth will be making a contribution there.

If it sounds like I’m living vicariously through my daughter – a common enough parental syndrome – well, perhaps a tiny bit. A part of me does have the feeling she’s doing the kinds of things maybe I should have. Oh, I have no regrets, I did have a great career, doing some important and worthy work. Yet in truth that was only sheer luck, since I was so clueless starting out, lacking the wit or imagination even to consider the full range of possibilities that might have been open to me. Can’t say that of Elizabeth. She is seizing the world by the horns, to live a meaningful life.

Her chosen path is not one followed by your typical American millennial. And it does please me to think that’s at least partly down to having had parents who were not typical either.

6 Responses to “Our Gal in Iraq”

  1. Roger Green Says:

    Brave young woman

  2. Manhar Chauhan Says:

    Good to find a giver amongst the entitled, keep-it-all millenials; go Lizzie!

  3. Wolfgang Kurth Says:

    My best to her and to you guys. I agree, I wish my parents had had the knowledge to show me all the opportunities open to me when I was in my late teens, but being recent immigrants and having enough difficulty navigating their own lives, they were oblivious to such opportunities.

  4. rationaloptimist Says:

    Wolf, you did OK.

  5. Lizzy Says:

    And my new job just got a lot more interesting! https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/battle-for-islamic-state-stronghold-could-trigger-a-new-crisis-a-million-displaced-iraqis/2016/10/03/91840e08-8408-11e6-92c2-14b64f3d453f_story.html

  6. rationaloptimist Says:

    Yes. Fighting to retake such a large city as Mosul was bound to be extremely messy.

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