The new face of American family life

A Monitor photographer captures a moving image of a father and daughter spending time together.

The mosque, with minarets and dome, rises exotically out of the flat earth near Toledo, Ohio, reminding me how multicultural America is. Inside, the prayer room is bright, with colorful stained-glass windows high up in the dome.

This mosque is known for being open-minded and inclusive – Shiites and Sunnis from different nations pray side by side. One side of the room is for men only. It's separated from the women's area by a waist-high wall. I'm surprised by the modesty of the women in attendance, who wear full head scarves and long skirts inside the mosque.

One little girl moves between her father and grandfather on the men's side during the prayer. Her father holds her in his arms as the imam delivers the sermon. As the father kneels toward Mecca with the group, his daughter is left upright in a sea of prayer. I love how she clings to her father, unsure, yet fascinated by the photographer who is peeking out from the side door. The image is a snapshot of America today: a father and daughter spending a typical day together.

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