Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Study Abroad: Part 4

September 11.  It's a date that was infamous in 1792 when the Hope Diamond was stolen, in 1961 when the World Wildlife Foundation was created, in 1997 when NASA's Mars Global Surveyor landed.  For many people in the United States of America, September 11, 2001 is infamous.  People remember the most shocking accounts: the image of "The Falling Man," the conspiracy theories of why the buildings crumbled so quickly, the telephone calls from people on UA Flight 93.

I grew up with all of this, with the Presidential Address in which G. W. Bush declared war on an idea, with the threat of retaliation from other countries, with the minute of silence every year.  This year, I'm spending September 11th in an Arabic country, in the capital city of Rabat.  And to be honest, I'm happy for this experience.

I've spent eleven years watching how people will suddenly come together for a moment of silence and rememberance.  This year, there was nothing.  Morocco was the first Arabic and Islamic country to denounce the attacks.  At the same time, the Arabic news was empty of video montage, radios did not have a moment of silence, and the front page of newspapers were without photographs.  The French news had a small memorial, even a video on Le Matin.

In class, we watched a film titled The Fixer, about an Afghani journalist who was taken hostage along with an Italian journalist, and was eventually murdered by the Taliban.  The contrast was huge: eleven years have passed, but at the same time, my news feed was filled with statuses and pictures about America, while no one seemed to recognize other people who had suffered as well.

To be honest, this post is simply a curious musing on a realization, that I am both physically, and mentally, removed from the United States.  The Atlantic Ocean has never seemed wider.


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