Abu Dhabi


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Tue, 12 Nov 2019 06:56 GMT

‘Watch Carefully, The World Is about to Change’: An Arab’s Memory of 9/11


Nesma Abdel Azim

Wed, 11 Sep 2019 23:46 GMT

Eighteen years ago, I was just an 11-year-old girl watching TV when the big news hit―the World Trade Centers Twin Towers had crashed. Frankly, I didn’t know what the World Trade Center were, or where they are, until my father whispered in my ear, “Watch carefully, the world is about to change from now on.”

Over the past 18 years, my father’s words have been proved, starting from the invasion of Iraq, the anti-terrorism war launched by the US around the whole world, and the epic scene of former President Barack Obama among his army leaders and aides watching live the hunt for Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad, Pakistan. The world has lived to see the impact of 9/11 in all aspects of life. We are talking about an attack that ignited wars, changed laws, and changed the lives of people who have never stepped a foot inside the US.

Some people―not only in the Arab world but also Americans―love to believe the conspiracy theory claiming the 9/11 attack was an inside-operation, based on the theory that the explosion started on the ground before the hijacked jets even hit the two buildings. But let’s ask a question here: what kind of government could do that to its own people? No matter what the political or military gain would be from an attack like that, they would not be worth the price the American people have paid.

You can sense the post-attack trauma in everything when you visit the US. This includes the screening process when you apply for a US visa, given the fact that the 19 hijackers had approved visas, which puts lots of people through a terrible process to prove their eligibility for entering the United States, not to mention the airport security checks not only in the US but at some airports across the world, giving travellers a hard time to pass the security and background checks.

Security measures at all US ports might seem exaggerated for non-US citizens, but can we blame the US government? How many times has the world witnessed an attack like that? Who could ever think that a normal passenger would commandeer an airliner and turn it into a guided missile? 

The memory of 9/11 will always remain one of the worst days on this planet. I bet that every adult person in the world can remember exactly what he was doing on this day 18 years ago and how he received the news. The victims, the blood, the smoke, the horror in the eyes of world’s strongest leaders, and the tears of families who commemorate this day with a missing person should be respected, as we look forward to a future where humanity will never witness a day like this again.

 The world press headlines on the day of 9/11/2001 at Newseum, Washington DC, US

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