Sunday, September 26, 2004

The Sheikh's daisies

In Italy people have begun making and drawing sets of four daisies, as a focal symbol as they wait, hope and pray for the release of our four friends, and an end to the brutal occupation of Iraq. The symbol comes from a story recounted by Simona Torretta in a letter to a friend a few days before the kidnapping.

"We had an appointment with the Sheikh [al-Kubaisi of the Muslim Clerics Association] early in the morning to discuss the schools project. He told of his followers, killed while they were marching peacefully [to Najaf], Fathers and good family men. I told him about Enzo. We mourned on the common deaths, an Italian-Iraqi mourning. He told us to be strong. In these days there's little room for hope: grief is everywhere. Then in the evening he came back, with a surprise for us: two daisies. He wanted to let us smile. "After seeing you two so depressed, this morning, I couldn't rest all day long." This said by someone who's been watching friends die all year. "I chose this flower because is the only one that can grow in salty soil. It's like us: it lives and dies in difficult conditions. So stop being sad, you're one of the most precious things left to us. And most of all I'd like to rest." He made us smile. I got the red, solitary daisy, with the long stem. Simo [Pari] got the pink and meaty one."

There are some beautiful banners and posters using the daisy theme on Un Ponte Per's website.

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