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Old 09-09-2002, 11:16 PM   #121
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Originally posted by KhanadaRhodes


i used to chat with a guy my age in pakistan back in 97/98. he was muslim, and it would've been interesting to hear what it's like now over there, and even his opinion on what happened.
We were very close friends with a Muslin family from Gaza a few years ago. We were neighbors and got to be close with their extended family and friends. We exchanged Christmas gifts and went to soccer games together, it was a really nice friendship. We asked alot of questions about their culture and about the conflict in their homeland and they were always glad to answer our questions.

After 9/11, we noticed that they weren't quite as friendly and when we would go into the store they owned, conversation wasn't what it used to be. The last time my husband went into the store, the husband was almost hostile to him, really raging about what the Americans are doing to the Muslims of the world and if he could, he would send his money back home to defend his people, etc. It was really scary and unfortunately, our friendship has ended.

We didn't want it that way and had no problem with them being Muslim but I honestly think the pressure was too great for him to keep the friendship going. His store is now up for sale and I think they are leaving the country. Its very sad. I really liked them.
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Old 09-10-2002, 12:20 AM   #122
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Sharky, I can definitely understand and appreciate what you said about the local nature of what happened to you. I do think some people around the U.S. got a bit trendy in the aftermath and then did little about it. However, I don't want to seem that way in telling you my experience.

My wife and I had planned a trip to NYC and Rochester/Syracuse several months earlier, for September 19-23. We were planning to visit your city for a few days during the week, then to head up to Syracuse and Rochester to watch my wife's college football team and visit her sister.

When the attacks occurred, we did not even think about our trip for the first few days as that was not where our minds were. Then we heard that airlines were allowing cancellations and such. We thought about it briefly but decided to go forward with our plans as Mayor Giuliani and others were encouraging people to visit - as they normally would, not to gawk at the attack site, but to continue with business trips, vacations, and the usual.

We had 14 people on our flight from Birmingham to LaGuardia, and the airport was desolate when we landed. We arrived at our hotel at about 10 on a Wednesday night. We decided to go to the bar around the corner for a beer, and on our way back, stopped to look at a memorial that had been set up on a table at the Fire Station next foor to our hotel. The station, on 58th Street next to Carnegie Suites, had lost 6 men plus a district supervisor, and all 7 men were pictured, and the table adorned with flowers, toy fire trucks and stuffed animals. While we were looking at it, an NYPD cruiser pulled up on the curb next to us. A uniformed officer got out and walked up to the table, took off his hat, and began to cry and tell the guys "goodbye." He was well over 6 feet tall and would probably intimidate the toughest street criminal but acted like anyone would after losing a bunch of friends who he probably saw every day.

The next day, we had planned to see St. Patrick's Cathedral because I had always seen pictures of it and I wanted to see it up close. When we walked up to it, we noticed several firefighters and police officers in their formal attire. Soon, we say a corps of bagpipers assembling on a corner. What followed was a full funeral procession down 5th Avenue for a fallen FDNY lieutenant. That really put things into perspective for us. Lined up at attention while the procession passed were FDNY & NYPD & Port Authority officers, some in formal uniforms, some in their working uniforms on a break from their shift, and even FEMA agents in their recovery clothes. The firefighter was carried on the back of a fire truck from Ypsilanti, Michigan because his station's truck had apparently been destroyed.

One thing that I noticed several times was the contribution of police and fire departments from around the U.S. We were walking near Times Square later that day and saw firefighters from Los Angeles County and Los Angeles City returning from their shifts at the World Trade Center site; and while we were in Rockefeller Center, I saw a guy wearing an Alabama hat, and after speaking to him found out that he and the 2 guys with him were from the Sheriff's Department in Alabama's smallest county and had been up there working the first of two 10-day shifts on forensics and recovery. Nothing that I had seen could compare to what they had seen in working at ground zero, but I didn't dare ask them about it because they were there to do a job rather than to give a press conference to tourists.

This was the first time my wife and I had ever been to New York, and I must admit that I used to always think it was a big scary city. But that is not what I felt when visiting it. If we stayed at a hotel in Birmingham, Alabama, we would never think about venturing around to the corner bar for a beer at 10:30 p.m., but in New York, we felt perfectly safe. And merchants and residents alike were very friendly to us; I bought a hot dog from a cart vendor in Central Park, and he needed exact change because business had been so slow, but he thanked me for visiting (I guess he picked up on my accent?). People on our return flight home thanked us for visiting their city and hoped we would come again. We rode the Statton (sp) Island Ferry in order to get our only view of the Statue of LIberty and two girls who attended Yeshiva University but lived on the Island were making their first trip back into the city since September 11 and were asking us what the city was like.

We did see a lot of vendors selling 9-11 and patriotic souvenirs, but most of them were being bought by locals. I even saw some of the Osama bulls-eye shirts for sale down around Soho or Canal Street, for $7. I must confess: I bought an American flag decal flag for my car because there were NONE to be found back home in Alabama!

Needless to say, I liked your city a lot; it's a great place and I hope that I did not trivialize it by visiting it at an inappropriate time. I hope to go back again some time and see more of it, as 2 full days are not really enough.

And to relate to what Bono's American Wife was saying about the shop owner, my wife and I had a favorite restaurant just down the road from our neighborhood here in Alabama. It was a Middle Eastern deli and grill owned by a guy from Qatar whom we considered a friend. He had the best falaffel sandwiches, chicken wraps, and sautted mushrooms we had ever had, and sometimes we would make a meal of of his humous dip with pita bread. After September 11, it seemed that business slowed, but he said he was doing alright whenever I was in there. Then he didn't open for a few days and I saw he and some friends moving his equipment on a weekend; I stopped by and said he was closing down for good. I know that several local police officers were frequent customers of his and would often stop by and chat with him and make sure he was not being harassed after 9-11, but unfortunately they couldn't help keep him open. We miss him and we miss the great food her served.

~U2Alabama
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Old 09-10-2002, 02:58 AM   #123
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Anthony,

It's all good to be a more eloquent speaker on Ravenstar's behalf, but you've kind of missed the point in why ppl here are upset.

By now, we know what Ravenstar's intentions were. I think what the Americans (and some others) want to hear is an apology, not for her statements, but for the initial boo-boo of her callous tone. She said something along the lines of "oh god, do I suck at explaining things" but that is not an apology.

What she did is akin to going to someone's funeral and saying callous things about the deceased in front of the deceased's living family. Certainly, she may lack tact and have her original points come across later, but the gesture was definitely not tasteful.


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Old 09-10-2002, 03:05 AM   #124
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i believe, personally, that if one is tired of hearing about 9/11 they simply ignore it.

but to say its the most overrated thing ever... is just rediculous.

i cant believe this thread was made... :S

i mean even if someone feels this way, surely they could use more tact.

this is actually, a very disappointing thread.

when innocent people die, everyone loses.
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Old 09-10-2002, 05:50 AM   #125
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bono's American Wife


I also understand what you are saying about not seeing the world outside of the the US. I saw firsthand 2 instances of Hindus being singled out or harassed within one week of 9/11.

Where I live, people are not as, well informed, I think is the best word for it. After the attacks, a lot of the people I knew, who I don't associate with anymore would say things like "We should go in there and bomb those Sand N@ggers," "I think we should just nuke every country that has terrorists in it." The area is 99% white, there are literally two black men, and one Arab family who live here. Before the attacks most of the people would hurl insults at the black men....one of them even woke up to find a burning cross in their yard, and this was a year and a half ago. Since the attacks, the Arab family has since moved away..they were basically run out of town. At the local BK, a group of travelling Iraqiis, who live in Canada and were going to NYC, were refused service by the manager. I just happened to be in there when the manager told them that they do not accept Canadian currency...however, they never had a problem taking Canadian currency before or even after this family came in.
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Old 09-10-2002, 07:23 AM   #126
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Originally posted by Bono's American Wife

I saw one elderly Hindu man wearing a turban walk into a McDonald's and the whole place went quiet. He looked around like he wanted to cry and walked right back out the door. I wanted to yell at these people "he's a Hindu you idiots, do you ever read the papers or watch anything besides the Simpsons?" "Do you know the difference between a Hindu and a Muslim and if not, why?"

Methinks you saw a Sikh & not a Hindu.

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Old 09-10-2002, 08:32 AM   #127
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Angela H & Tyler- thank you both for your posts, which touched me very much.

This has never happened in America before. We are learning as a nation and as people how to grieve. We don't know the "rules" on over-exposure- we don't know the boarder between respect and disrespect (meaning, do we focus on 9/11 memorials on TV or do we pretend it didn't happen? where is the medium?) What may be too much coverage for someone is actually just enough for others, where they can seek comfort from it.

I'm not saying I agree with the way people are trying to make money off the tragedy. Just talking about the coverage and exposure.

I don't think America is saying it's worse than any other tragedy- I know the Americans (including myself) that I know are not saying this. It's just we're learning how to handle and grieve the loss America suffered. We are also a highly scrutinized nation, so more people are going to notice coverage of 9/11 and it will seem that we are saying "this is the worst thing that has ever happened period" when obviously, we are not.

I don't think anyone really knows what to do- and not everyone would be happy with the decision anyway.
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Old 09-10-2002, 10:22 AM   #128
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thanks for posting your story bama. i always enjoy your posts because i feel like you always see the big picture.

and foray - you just hit the nail on the head.
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Old 09-10-2002, 11:12 AM   #129
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Bama- we like tourists like you. Come back any time.

foray- I agree about how we don't have a precedent when it comes to covering a tragedy like this-- there weren't as many news outlets vying for coverage in 1963 when Kennedy died-- but we do have a precedence when it comes to Americans being ignorant about the world around us and unfortunately, its not a positive one.
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Old 09-10-2002, 11:36 AM   #130
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Quote:
Originally posted by AcrobatMan


Methinks you saw a Sikh & not a Hindu.

AcrobatMan
That's very possible...I hate making a mistake like that when I'm basically complaining about other people not knowing the difference between and Indian and an Arab. Thank you AcrobatMan.
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Old 09-10-2002, 06:17 PM   #131
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It's all good to be a more eloquent speaker on Ravenstar's behalf, but you've kind of missed the point in why ppl here are upset.
With all due respect, I don't think I have missed the point. I said it before and I'll say it again, RavenStar admitted to what her intentions were. Without impugning as to her honesty, I will just trust her when she says that her original intention was what I and others have discussed, as well as her own recantations.

She may not have apologised, but that is to her own discretion. Just imagine what a tedious place FYM would be if everyone who ever said anything remotely wrong had to be asked to apologise. I understood her point well enough, if a little baffled at first. This is evidently because, as I said in my post, I was not personally involved with the tragedy and hence can probably control my emotions with more ease - which is really the point of the thread in a roundabout sort of way.

Quote:
What she did is akin to going to someone's funeral and saying callous things about the deceased in front of the deceased's living family.
I don't think it is. She may have phrased things callously, but she did not start naming people individually and maliciously try to upset the 'family members'. Had she gone around saying how everybody who perished on that terrible day had it coming to them and other horrendous conclusions (which HAVE been stated in this forum before, with no apology coming after it) - that would have been different. At best, she phrased it wrong. At worst, she may have been too analytical about it, without considering the human side of it all.

This isn't a funeral, needless to say, its a thread asking some questions. Some people, and not ALL the Americans in this forum - might I add, found those questions too disturbing and unsettling, understandably so, I think I would too. However, some people also were able to recognise the point, and some interesting discussions followed that may have arrived at some great conclusions. I for one feel that I learned something truly important.

I don't think there will be an apology (I think she would have done so already, if she had felt the need to). If this thread upsets you, please don't read it. Otherwise, let the discussion go on.

Ant.
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Old 09-10-2002, 06:37 PM   #132
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Ant.-
The point is she has little respect for the dead, who died innocently, and you more or less have given her callous view a 'pass' re this matter.

An observation only-

Dave
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Old 09-10-2002, 07:00 PM   #133
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The point is she has little respect for the dead, who died innocently, and you more or less have given her callous view a 'pass' re this matter.
A good observation, at that. I can't ascertain for certain, as you have, what respect she has for the dead, but you are quite right that I have given her a 'pass' in this matter. That her view should be expressed and modified as she wishes to.

Its not the first time someone has seemingly appeared to have been 'callous'. In fact, it wouldn't have been the first time if she had overtly come out with a callous or malicious sentiment; my point is nearly no one in this forum has ever apologised for anything. I pick up callous comments from almost all threads all the time, however, I only ever demand people to improve their powers of argument, not to apologise for past mistakes.

I don't make people apologise, its not my place to do so. However, as I said before, if you do not like this thread, please do not read it.

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Old 09-10-2002, 09:12 PM   #134
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My First Post

On September 12 I was awake at 2:00 AM holding my infant son in my arms. He, shall we say, is not a sleeper.

As I held him in my arms, I watched the news reporting about the people of Flight 93 and their phone calls home. It was at that time that I finally allowed myself to cry. When I heard the stories of mothers and fathers calling to say goodbye to their wives and children I could take no more.

Loss off life, be it an earthquake, a plane crash, disease, poverty, or a car crash is a horrible thing. Life is a gift, and when it perishes, it should be mourned. It is not something that belongs on the scales of my suffering is greater than your suffering, or the way I died is worse than the way you died.

To me, one of the more sickening thing about the events of September 11 is that it was an attrocity committed by human beings against human beings in the name of God and religion. I know this is nothing new in the history of the world. But it seems that as I look through the lens of hindsight of world history there is a lesson that mankind continues to miss.

Fanaticism is dangerous no matter what the form. It twists, warps and distorts judgment. This can be political fanaticism or religious fanaticism. I think one of the messages I get from the story of Christ, is that fanaticism gets in the way of the will of God. I think the story Ghandi and maybe even MLK relates the same message.

On October 30 in Providence Bono made some remarks very similar to these about fanaticism.

There have been many things said in this thread that are troubling. But amongst the troubling things that have been said there have been truths even from people you may or may not have agreed with or the way they have said things.

Almost one year later, I am holding my son in my hands, he is still not sleeping. Before September 11, I was bothered by his not sleeping. Now I am thankful that I am here to experience it and I mourn the fact that so many will never meet their new born child or hold their children again be they from Afghanistan or America.

Peace to you all. Sharky God Bless.
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Old 09-10-2002, 09:18 PM   #135
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Life is a gift, and when it perishes, it should be mourned. It is not something that belongs on the scales of my suffering is greater than your suffering, or the way I died is worse than the way you died.
Thank you, Dreadsox.

I don't know how to respond to that in any proper way... but I don't need to. You said it perfectly and truthfully.

I'm sorry for your loss. God Bless.

Ant.
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