A number of months back, MB welcomed baby Sofia into the world via one of his blog posts, mom & dad (R&E) being friends on MB, hailing from the Khoura region of northern Lebanon, but working in recent years (and presently) in Qatar.
Sofia arrived into a strife-torn Middle East (ME) on 10 February 2017, as MB referred in his previous post. Religious extremism and the general failure of various ME societies to form cohesive communities and countries have destroyed large swathes of Syria and Iraq. Hundreds of thousands are dead and millions are displaced. It is estimated by the World Bank that some 30% of Syria’s housing stock is fully or partially destroyed, and some 50% of its education and health facilities are in a similar state. Neighbouring states are under huge stress due to the millions of refugees that have crossed their borders.
On top of all that, and since MB’s last Sofia post, a number of Gulf Arab states decided to implement a border blockade of the State of Qatar in early June, where baby Sofia and family reside. MB has described the Qatar blockade in some recent posts and won’t go there again. Thankfully no violence has ensued as a result of the blockade, albeit the blockade continues to the present day.
So, sadly for baby Sofia, the region she will grow up in is not improving, for the moment at least. One can but hope that this will not be the way of things in the future.
In any event, Sofia gets on with her life without a care in the world. Her happy smiling face speaks volumes for her state of mind and of the great caring family that she is part of.
A few weeks back, while MB was indulging himself in another spectacular Lebanese wedding, R&E took baby Sofia back to her homeland for the occasion of her Christian baptism, only a few miles from MB’s wedding venue. MB can not be everywhere at the same time lads, regardless of what you may believe. Bilocation is beyond him (at present). So the below photos are not from the camera of MB. Thank God for that, MB can hear you all cry.
MB discussed with mom R in recent days that he would like to chronicle Sofia’s life in the coming years with a few blog posts per year, and R has accepted MB’s suggestion. The fact that R is a great photographer and loves making arty things for her firstborn makes MB’s task all that much easier. And also, let’s not forget Great Grandmother Jamili (2nd photo below), the mom of R’s mom, who is a complete and total legend with a croché needle and a few balls of wool. See the below green dress if you doubt MB!
The Lebanese/Khoura baptism is now done and dusted, and Sofia is back in Doha, Qatar, planning the next phase of her life. MB will be keeping his eagle-eye on her.