I’m not going to try to convince you that “Habiba” is real. You have to weigh the evidence for yourself. The fact that the largest Spanish news channel in the country has covered her story is proof enough for me.
There is a surreal element of Habiba though. Beyond the woman who lives in Spain, and is desperately missing her daughter, there is a piece of this story that reminds us of Rodney King, Rosa Parks, Nelson Mandela, Matthew Shepard, Anne Frank, Joan of Arc – you get the point. Habiba reminds us those of us that are caught up in whether to watch the Bachelor or check our email, that violence and injustice happen; and for those of us going through a similar plight, she reminds us that we’re not alone.
Habiba reminds us that whether breast feeding, or formula feeding, our babies need to be fed by a loving parent. She reminds us that whether we sleep next to our child, or kiss them goodnight in their own bed, their sweet presence is not to be taken for granted.
Habiba reminds us that life is difficult for so many people, for so many complex reasons.
She reminds us that we are all vulnerable.
And that if we want to get our proverbial Alma back, we can’t do it alone.
If nothing else, let Habiba spur us on to a more engaged, aware, and compassionate life.