Why We Love Anyway (Even When We're Afraid)

A photo of Ghazel in the hospital

This is Ghazel, a girl whose story inspires us to love anyway—even when we’re afraid.

Ghazel and her family come from Fallujah, a city known around the world for conflict and division, a city now controlled by ISIS.  

With a daughter on the verge of death, Ghazel’s father—a Sunni—took the dangerous journey south to get help from those his people fear most: Shia Muslims and Americans.

After her lifesaving surgery, Ghazel’s father said something we’ll never forget:  

“We must take this wall that separates us and tear it down! There is no difference between ‘us' and ‘them,' and I chose to come south to show that.” 

Ghazel and her mother in the hospital

Today, Ghazel's little chest still bears the mark proving enemies can work together, love can tear down walls, and incredible things happen when we choose to love anyway—even when we’re scared. 

We all have our own politics. Our own presuppositions. Our faith backgrounds, prejudices, and blind-spots. 

We don't ignore our differences or shy away from understanding conflict. We choose to lean in and love anyway. 

That's why we invest in saving lives and waging peace in some of the world's most notorious conflict-zones. These conflict-zones represent more than regions on a map or 30-second narratives on the evening news. For us, they represent real people like Ghazel, in real communities like Fallujah, with real fears, hopes, and aspirations. 

With your help, we can continue to remake our world by wrapping our arms around fear and choosing to love anyway. 

We no longer accept the zero-sum worldview that says we cannot be on the side of "us" and "them"; Jews and Palestinians; Sunnis and Shias; Arabs, Kurds, and Turks. We choose them all. 

We don't lean left or right. We lean in. We lean forward, because that's where love lives. 


About Matthew Willingham

Matt Willingham is Preemptive Love's Senior Field Editor and writes primarily on politics, history, general updates and visual peacemaking through photography and film.

Showing 5 reactions

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.
Why We Love Anyway (Even When We're Scared)
Why We Love Anyway (Even When We're Afraid)
Choose hope, bravery, and peace with me by supporting @preemptivelove