Blog Post # 267 – Lesson from Little Yahya

Last week, I went to a client’s home for dinner in Columbia.

We had a very nice meal of roasted chicken, an Iraqi vermicelli side dish (delicious) and, in a nod to my favorite pizza place, a cheese Shakespeare’s pie.

I got to “break bread” with not one, not two, but three of my Iraqi asylum-seeking clients.

We had an illuminating discussion regarding the current realities in their hometowns of Tikrit, Fallujah and Mosul.

All three of my clients have very real fears of returning home.

The meal, and our discussion, served as a reminder of how our clients often have so much riding on the cases that we handle.

But the highlight of the meal was one other attendee, Yahya.

Yahya, who just turned three on Halloween.

He had a little iPad with a bunch of one-minute kid videos on the device.

One video was about elephants, one about monkeys and one about horses.

Yahya was a master of maneuvering around the various videos and, as each one started, he howled with glee.

“Look …. Look … El-ef-ant!”


I tried to get him to use the Arabic words for each of these animals, but he strictly stuck to English.

This went on for at least 45 minutes.

Such unbridled joy.

Such excitement.

Each time that Yahya got another video going, he was ecstatic and said the name of the animal at least three times.

Simply adorable.

Such a gift.

For today, let us find the joy in all things.

Let us find that wonderment that Yahya exhibited all evening long.

And let us be grateful. For all of it.