I will never forget the day of 9/11/2001. I was a day just like any other day. Actually it was a beautiful September Morning, the leaves had just begun to fall, the air had a crisp hint of autumn to it, and the sun was shining with all it’s might. You would have NEVER thought that such a life altering event would or COULD even occur. I had just began attending a new school (an Islamic school in Teaneck, New Jersey). I attended the school because I had been bullied in the public school I had attended the year before for wearing hijab. Countless times, I would come home from school crying. I was miserable. On that sunny September morning I went to school cheerful. Hopeful, even, because I believed that I was safe from the ridicule and torment. Oh boy, was I wrong!!
I think the reason why I was happy to attend the Islamic School (Alghazaly) was to avoid my fears. I guess I wanted to feel safe from the ridicule but, I could not run. You see, my main weakness as a person is my inability to see evil in them. My whole life I felt American. I could not be anything but that! When I wore hijab, I was 11 years old. I wasn’t really forced to wear it and I wanted to. (So I did, as I thought I should when I “reached puberty”) Anyway, back to my point. 9/11 taught me so much about myself and changed me in many ways. (It continues to change me.) It taught me that I cannot run from my fears and that I must face them, no matter how challenging they may seem. It taught me that while there does exist a group of racist an ignorant people, there are many many more kind and accepting ones. I gained the strength to wear my hijab with the same pride I felt when I first decided to put it on. I gained the wisdom to learn that the world is not as nice as I thought (something I’m still struggling with today.) Don’t be too trusting but, trust enough. There is a reason why the Prophet (pbuh) called us the Ummah that is on the Middle Path. We cannot be too extreme in our beliefs that we exclude others or too loose in our faith that we accept everything which suits our whims and fancies.
I might have gone off track a little but, 9/11 will always be a large part of my life.
Truly, I will never forget.