Ayaan, Niall, And America

Sep 12 2011 @ 2:57pm

One of my oldest friends married one of my global heroines on Saturday. The irascible Scot wed the unafraid Somali to the Battle Hymn of the Republic (and a little Gershwin thrown in) in Harvard Memorial Church. For me, this is America: a refugee from brutal Islamist repression and an intellectual seeking new forums and new audiences to share his work. They came here because this is America, a place that makes an East African and a Glaswegian feel equally at home.

I am happy on a personal level to see my old friend, for whom happiness has always been a long, Calvinist struggle, looking so, well, content. But I am happy also because this is my country too; and however much trouble it is in, it is also one of very few places in which this marriage could happen. That matters. And it should give us hope.