9/11/2007

September 11, 2001-September 11, 2007

I asked the young Russian woman who was my translator whether they were saying anything about Ahmad Shah Massoud’s health after the explosion. She listened and said: “Some say he is still alive. Americans say he is dead.” In the afternoon, as we were driving back into the city, I asked her again if there was any news about Ahmad Shah Massoud. She listened and said: “No news about Shah Massoud. But they say an airplane ran into the World Trade Center in New York.” I didn’t believe her. She had made some mistakes with her English earlier that week, and I was sure she didn’t know what she was talking about. She was quiet and I kept quiet, too. The news broadcast continued on the car radio. Several minutes later she said: “Looks like another airplane hit the other World Trade Center Tower.” By this time I was sure she not only had poor English, that she was also really stupid, as she had no idea how big and tall those towers were and how airplanes worked. I had a hard time keeping a straight face, thinking that I will be cracking jokes about this woman’s translation skills for years to come. When I got out of the car and walked into the lobby of my hotel, I saw many people huddled around the TV set in the lobby. From their expressions, their collective silence, and their body language, I could tell something ominous had happened. I ran to the elevator and went to my room where I saw it on TV. Later that evening we went for a walk near Kremlin and Red Square. Though everyone seemed aware that summer was over, the night air didn’t feel terribly cold. We sat there in silence, watching others walk by us also in silence. Many people had ashen faces and several people were crying. We had ashen faces and we were crying, too. We knew many people had died, but the numbers were not known to us at the time. I just knew that early in the morning of a weekday, someone who had bought a cappuccino at Starbucks downstairs and was sipping it, quite possibly looking across the pictures of his wife and kids on his desk, or pictures of her daughter’s graduation and her son’s Little League pose, saw the horrible sight of an airplane approaching his or her window. The world changed on September 11, 2001, forever. The lives of those in World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and those in those airplanes were just some of the beginning numbers on a growing scroll of human lives lost in the fires of ignorance, greed, and blind hate since then. Today I continue to cry for the victims of September 11, 2001 through September 11, 2007. As the world continues to burn in blazing fires of mistrust and hate, I remember the morning of September 11, 2001 in Moscow as quite possibly the last day I woke up to my world as I knew it. (This piece was published in Iranian.com today, under the title: "The end of the world." Here's the link.)

15 comments:

! said...

...
sorry ...
سیاست همه چیز رو تحت تاثیر قرار میده ...

nima said...

we always hope he translator is wrong...but the time we face it...i have nothing to say...just silence...and it is not good at all

Nazy said...

Salam Bar Farshad-e-Kayhani:

Thanks for coming. It isn't just politics Farshad Jan. There is poverty and there is greed. There is ignorance and there is hate. There are many factors that play into how our world has become what it has. If we are to see peace in the world, those issues must be handled thoroughly and deeply.

Be good Uni Jan.

Nazy said...

Dear Nima:

Welcome! This is the first time I see you here. Thank you for your thoughtful comment, especially "we always hope the translator is wrong." Your "silence" said a lot. I hope you come back and talk to us some more soon. Do you have a weblog? I couldn't make it out by clicking on your name. Let me know if you do and I'll come by and visit.

Thanks again for coming and for leaving your thoughtful comment.

Daisy said...

Salam Nazy jon,

I wanted to leave a message on my own blog for the comment you made but since I don't have anything new posted, I thought I should leave you a message here.
First of all thank you for visiting me and leaving me comments. I always enjoy hearing from you. Now I'm a student in the Library and Information Studies in Vancouver at UBC. It's an exciting program to be part of because of the Internet and the fast growing rate of information:)
I would love to meet you in person. It is always wonderful to communicate on-line but sometimes I miss the good old fashion way of communication (talking).
Around October 8th, I should be going to Montreal to visit my parents for Canadian thanksgiving. I hope you are coming here some other times in October so I have the chance to meet you. Let me know when you will be here.

A big hug from Vancouver to Berkeley- Take care

Mehran said...

NAzy jan, I do agree the world changed after 9/11 2001. it killed many people that day and continue to kill around the world. I feel your sadness.

Nazy said...

Daisy Jan: Salam bar to dar Vancouver! I am so happy you are studying what you like. You will make a great professional. My plans are sketchy at this time, but I will keep your dates in mind. It will be great to see you. Thank you for visiting Azizam. Come again.

Nazy said...

Mehran Jan. Mine is just one story of millions of people around the world who remember that day, where they were, and what they were doing when it happened. When acts of terror, violence, and brutal murder happen anywhere in the world, humanity erodes and diminishes. Everyone's life is affected in some way, whether they know it or not. This senseless act was cause to much more death and destruction, all of which have affected our world in irreparable ways. Thank you for your kind comment.

Assal said...

I remember the way I felt like my heart was jumping up and stuck in my throat as I sat on a chair, late for class at DVC, knowing that my being late wouldn't really matter...

It seems like last year, last month even...

Not six years. Never six years.

Nazy said...

Assal Jan: I agree. It all seems like a sad story which has no end. The lives that have been altered forever in every corner of the world attest to the still unfolding proportions of the tragedy. I saw a documentary recently about an Iraqi father's daily routine for getting his only son to school in Baghdad. What he and millions of other Iraqi's are experiencing, the loss, the pain, the hate, and the fear, are painful reminders of how our world changed after that day. The millions of Afghani's who have suffered endlessly first in the hands of Taliban, who are still active and killing, and now in the hands of unknown circumstances, are other victims of that crime. Nobody should forget that event. In many ways it was the beginning of the fear the world lives through these days. Be good Assal Jan.

SERENDIP said...

You read my comment on Iranian.com?

Well-done. Great piece of writing.

Nazy said...

Dearest Serendip: Yes, I did. Thank you very much. There is uproar in Iranian.com Land! I get nasty comments, as does everyone else, and "Mr. Nothing Is Sacred" Jahanshah says we must all develop a thick skin for criticism. I actually don't mind getting criticism, but it gets hard writing and pouring out your heart, and getting misspelled, error-filled, nasty comments from "Anonymous" readers who won't even have the decency of introducing themselves. I will, however, keep at it as a magazine reaches a diverse audience who will react differntly to different pieces. Deep down I know that if I want to be a writer, I will have to develop that thick skin! It is disheartening sometimes, though.

You are fabulous, Serendip. Thank God for you!

! said...

می دونی نازی عزیز در سالروز واقعه ی 11 سپتامبر شبکه ی 4 معمولا سری کاملی از وقایع اون موقع رو پخش می کنه ...
مثلا همین امسال سری کامل فیلمهای مایکل مور رو گذاشته با فیلم کوتاه 11دقیقه و 11 ثانیه اییه صمیرا مخملباف...
وای که چه کرد امسال البته نازی عزیز من اصلا تلویزیون نگاه نمی کنم چه برسه به ...
ولی واقعا از حق نگذریم کارش عالی بود ..
می دونی راستش نمی دونم فیلم کوتاه صمیرا مخملباف رو دیدی یا نه ولی زندگی کودکان اقشار مختلف افغان رو نشون می ده و باهاشون مصاحبه می کنه ...
اگه بدونی وقتی از بچه ها می پرسه می دونین برج چیه چه جوابهای گریه آوری میدن ...
من کاری نه به دولت جمهوری اسلامی دارم نه به دولت بوش و نه به هیچ دولت دیگه ای ..
نه کاری به بن لادن دارم و عقایدش نه کاری به راست یا دروغ بودن رابطه ی تجاری و حسنه ی بوش و خانوادش با اون و خانوادش ...
ولی به نظر من کشتن یه مشت آدم بی گناه و بی خبر در نیویورک در افغانستان ، عراق و هر جای دنیا به هر دلیلی ،چه پول و قدرت ، چه نجات دنیا و بر کناری زورگویان و چه مبارزه با تروریست و غیره کار واقعا وحشتناکیه ...
من نمیدونم حمله ی دنیا به عراق واقعا کار درست و لازمی بود یا نه و من اصلا نمی خوام که بدونم کار درستی بوده یا نه حتی نمی خوام استدلالشون رو بشنوم ولی اینو میدونم صدها کودکی که در این کشوره بی گناه و بی خبر تکه تکه شدن واقعا حق زندگی داشتن کودکانی که هر روز شبکه های مختلف خبری تصاویرشون رو نشون میده ، کودکانی که شاید از حداقلهای قانون حقوق بشر هم محروم بودن و حالا ...
ببخشید نازی عزیز من واقعا سرم گیج میره و میخام ساعتها گریه کنم

Nazy said...

Uni-Far Jan:

Thank you for your heartfelt and poignant comment. I have seen the Michael Moore movies, but I haven't seen the Samira Makhmalbaf one. Wars are a horrible human catastrophe. Even when they are over they keep claiming victims through landmines.

I once saw a photograph in Time magazine which to this day haunts me. It was of the entrance to a mosque where, I suppose, war veterans had gone in to pray. It was a picture of the shoe racks customarily put outside mosques so people would take off their shoes before entering. In this picture, though, among all the shoes, were artificial limbs and legs and crutches. Tens of them. I remember I cut that picture and carried it in my wallet and cried everytime I looked at it. Even those who are only related to victims of a war are victims themselves. My biggest wish in life is for a world free of wars. Be good azizam.

! said...

:(