By Andrea Picciotti-Bayer

Saly and Rahma are like so many young American university students. In their second year at Catholic University, these two young women are serious students, thoughtful and articulate. They talk excitedly about their chosen majors and their plans for the future. Both twenty-somethings seem poised to become strong and competent professionals after completing their studies at Catholic University.

Here’s the key difference: Saly and Rahma’s Catholic University is the Catholic University in Erbil, Iraq.

Saly and Rahma and I spoke for almost two hours one day over the Internet via Whatsapp. The girls were joined by one of their professors (John) in a lecture room after their classes had ended for the day. David Trimble, Senior Fellow at the Religious Freedom Institute, had met them during a recent visit to Iraq. He connected us all, because, in a way – in our long, twilight struggle against global terrorism – Saly and Rahma are America’s future, too. The reason can be found in their past, and their courageous choices for the present.

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