Friday, May 2, 2008

Thoughts from the past

August 31st 1997. I woke up to a gorgeous gorgeous day and just laid in bed staring at the sun peeping through my pink curtains. There was a quiet knock on my door and I tilted my head towards it as my moms face peeped in. She asked me if I was planning on getting out of bed anytime soon. I spread out my arms and stretched with a smile without answering. She then pursued to tell me that I probably should get up and come watch the news with her. Princess Diana was dead. The rest of the day, all I remember are countless news casts about the tragedy and theories on what had happened. It was so surreal and the first time I can remember feeling like I was part of history.

September 11th 2001. I walked the streets of Oslo on my way home and thought to myself that I hadn't seen it this empty in the afternoon except on christmas day. I got home a little later than usual this day. I walked in around 5pm and I remember my dad jumping up looking wide eyed at the door. He said he was surprised I hadn't found a TV in the city to sit and watch the news. I thought that was the most ridiculous thought ever. When have I ever before done such a thing? My dad shook his head and told me that the first tower of the world trade center in new york had collapsed. As I sat down next to him, I watched the second tower fall to pieces and with it, my heart shattered to dust. The next two weeks I can't remember getting a good nights sleep. My entire family would wake up in the middle of the night and find ourselves watching the news in silence together. At school I got into an argument about terrorists and war. He talked about war and all the things it is good for, claiming that my views were ignorant and I couldn't possibly know what I was talking about. I explained to him that I knew as well as any kid who wet her bed two years after her family managed to escape a war, could know.
This was the first time I REALLY realized that my life, as a persian arab, would never be the same again and history was again written in front of my eyes.

April 25th 2008. I am awaken by loud screams. Angry loud screams. Throughout the entire day I would hear the same name over and over again. Screamed from cars moving in traffic. Screamed in the subway cars. Screamed in heated debates.
I had never been in such a big city and felt such a union at the same time. Everyone not only talked about the same thing, we all expressed the same thoughts, the same views and the same head shake. All mouthing the same name.
Sean Bell. Sean Bell. Sean Bell.
Again, I felt like history was being written. Not in the verdict - which actually just drowns in the history of mis-judgement by the state, but in the union and with the expression of "No. No, we will not let this go down unknown. No, we will not forget Sean Bells name, or let anyone else forget." Even if we have to wake people up with our loud, angry screams.


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