Where was I on September 11th?
I was in the bath in my hotel room. It was our annual summer holiday and we were spending it in our favourite place.
I was in a Muslim country.
I got out of the bath and was surprised to see MB back in the room early. He was watching TV avidly and I asked what the film was.
'It's not a film.' he replied, 'It's real.'
I watched in horror as the planes smashed into the Twin Towers. I gazed in dismay as the desperate man threw himself bodily down hundreds of floors. I wept as I watched the families congregate. This could not be happening, but it was. We sobbed as the families started to search for their loved ones.
The hotel grounds were deserted and the swimming pool empty as the holiday makers flocked back to their rooms to see the tragedy unfold, disbelieving and shocked.
Sooner or later, real life steps in and later we went to dinner. The dining room was silent in the Marhaba Palace hotel that night and the waiters loitered uncomfortably at one side. We were regulars at the hotel and the waiters slowly approached our table.
'We don't know what to do.' they said sorrowfully. 'And we don't know what to say.'
We looked at the men. They were appalled at how their religion had been used. They were scared that they would be held responsible. And like us, they were horrified at the news.
'You do your jobs.' I told them. 'We don't blame you, we don't blame Islam. We blame the men responsible.'
They looked a little relieved and one of them quietly said 'You know, the Qur'an doesn't permit this.......' and his voice trailed off.
And they went about their jobs. The dining room remained silent all evening and the bars were empty - but no one blindly blamed these Muslim men for the atrocity. We were all grieving together, no one escaped the grief.