I Remember

On the eve of the 10th anniversary of 9/11 I would like once again to express my deep sorrow for all the lives lost and my sympathy to all those people who lost their loved ones. I cannot help but also feel that after a decade nothing much has changed. With all that is going on in different parts of the world, with all the terrorism, the unjust killings and the bombings of innocent people for various reasons, I still think that:

“Humanism does not consist in saying: ‘No animal could have done what I have done,’ but in declaring: ‘We have refused what the beast within us willed to do, and we seek to reclaim man wherever we find that which crushes him.’” André Malraux

I remember traveling to different parts of the world long before 9/11. Even though we were from the Middle East we encountered no problems in obtaining visas and we were welcome wherever we went. But now I dread the idea of travel because of the fear of being despised, not because of who I am but because of where I come from. If this is not hell then what is?

“The attempt to force human beings to despise themselves … is what I call hell.” André Malraux 

It is not a nice feeling to be loathed for something you have no control over, for something that chance has thrown at you, such as a nationality or being born in a certain part of the world. That feeling, the feeling of not belonging, or not being accepted or welcome never goes away. (Can’t You Read English)

I remember too how, when I finished writing my book The Lost I right after 9/11 and wanted to query publishers and agents in England and the United States, my manila envelopes posted from Dubai returned unopened, some even didn’t get mailed at all. And I also remember

“…that all through history, the way of truth and love has always won. There have been murderers and tyrants, and for a time they can seem invincible. But in the end they always fall. Think of it always.” André Malraux


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2 Responses to I Remember

  1. suehealy says:

    A moving post. I can relate to your sentiments too. I’m Irish and I remember in the Eighties whenever I traveled to England if there had been an IRA (or UDA) bomb, there was always that mild paranoia that people might hold you somehow responsible for this terrible act, or saw you as complicit because of your race/nationality/tribal affiliation. Most didn’t, of course, though there were occasional comments. And then there was the inner confusion, being so terribly proud of my country and being Irish but ashamed of the atrocities that were being carried out in our name by a misguided handful. I suppose it is a day to reflect on all this. Thanks.

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