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This Week in Freudenfreude: Surprise!

This is Naz Hassan:

Little girl in a butterfly costume

As you can presumably infer from the photo, she's adorable, very young (4 years old), and a big fan of Halloween. You might even guess that she is of Syrian descent, and from that guess (correctly) that her family is Muslim.

What you can't tell is that she was born with a congenital defect in her heart, one that has required her to undergo several medical procedures in order for it to be repaired. The last, and most important, was scheduled for Children's Hospital New Orleans. And when the surgery schedule was put together, Naz's slot was on... October 30. That is, of course, the day before Halloween. Naz's mother, Shiler Sido, hated to break the news to her daughter that there would be no Halloween this year, but what're you gonna do under these circumstances?

As it turns out, Naz's neighbors—some of them Muslim, some Christian, some Jewish, some adherents of no religion at all—decided they had a pretty good answer to that question. So, this year, Halloween was observed in Naz's neighborhood on both Oct. 31 AND Oct. 29. That meant that the night before undergoing the surgery (which was successful), Naz got a surprise. Her mother told her to put on her costume, as shown in the photo, and then they visited 60+ houses for some trick-or-treating. You can't actually eat food the night before surgery, but we assume that Naz's mother had her candy at the ready when she awoke from her procedure.

In case you're wondering how this is relevant to the content of this site, it's this. We've had an awful lot of content, especially this week, about the unhappy events in Israel. We thought it would be nice (and hopefully not maudlin) to have at least one item about people of different religions coming together to do good, instead of harm.

And on that note, we had some Israel and election stuff planned for today, but this post is already 6,000 words. So, we will have to postpone until next week, or we'd blow past 10,000 words (and past 10:00 a.m. ET). It's coming, we promise.

Have a good weekend, all! (Z)

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