Monday, September 11, 2006

Where were you?

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.



Anonymous said...

I remember so clearly. A friend came to me and said, "Have you heard the news? NYC is being attacked!"....

I immediately stopped what I was doing, I was home. Turned on the television and it remained on for days. 24 hours for nearly 3 days. I didn't sleep much, I cried. Even sobbed at times.

I couldn't believe my eyes, and I couldn't believe what they were telling us.

I see the towers smoldering still, in my mind. I can smell the smells in my mind. Even of death. I remain tearful when I think of the loss and the tragedy. And I continue to question.

lisa said...

I was 37 weeks pregnant with my first child, and feeling miserable. My Husband had gone to work and I decided to lie down, watch TV and have a nap. I turned on the TV and felt my stomach turn as I watched a Plane fly into the Twin Towers. I changed the channel, and saw it over and over and over. I was mortified. I cried. I stared at the TV in disbelief and called my Husband to tell him. He already knew and he too, we in tears.

I remember feeling very scared about what the future would hold for my unborn child and our nation. It felt surreal.. and I wasn't quite aware of how much suffering was really going on.

It's not something that any of us will ever forget. And, I'm impressed by how it's caused so many people, from so many walks of life, to unite.

I do, however, think it's changed our world. Forever.

Mackey said...

I really appreciate the story re:the Muslims & how sad they were. Too many people blame all of them & it is sad. Muslims are not bad people it's the radical Islamic that you have to worry about.