Wednesday, September 11, 2013

12 Years Later: September 11, 2013

Read the original post here: Musings from Malaysia: 11 Years Later- How Living in a Primarily Muslim Country has Changed my Views of the World....

Has it really been one year since I wrote this post? 365 days, and thousands of miles away. How things have changed.
I've been back in the U.S. for almost 4 months now. People ask me questions about my Malaysia all the time, but sadly the questions, especially at school, range from "Did someone try to set you up to be in an arranged marriage?" to "I'm surprised you came back, you know, living with terrorists for a year."
It's heartbreaking. The people I called mom, dad, brother, sister, friend, teacher last year are labeled as terrorists here, simply because of their religion. Trying to convey a message of acceptance and tolerance can be difficult. The human race is one that likes to draw their own conclusions.
This isn't every American. Not at all. In fact, the attitudes are changing. I presented at a college fair with a colleague program last weekend about the YES Abroad Program. When I said the words "American high schoolers live in countries with significant Muslim populations for one year," I was humbled to see that parents and students alike weren't bothered by this. Maybe a little surprised, as Southeast Asia and Africa aren't common study abroad locations, but they were willing to hear me out. This is a response I doubt I would've gotten as little as 5 years ago. Acceptance is growing; it makes me proud to be an American.
As much as it has become a part of it, September 11th is not a religion based day. Muslims, Christians, Jews, Atheist, Hindus alike were victims of the attack. We all bleed red. Osama bin Laden was Muslim, Hitler was atheist, Westboro Baptist Church is Christian. Each religion has hate. Evil people doing terrible things. That doesn't change the beauty in the holy fasting month of Ramadan, or the empty tomb on Easter, or the menorah burning for eight long nights. It doesn't change the photos of the Christians in Egypt holding hands to make a human wall while Muslims pray, and then Muslims doing the same later. Religion may define a person, but a person shouldn't define a religion.

Tomorrow, I will stand with my schoolmates, wearing red white and blue, seeing the flag of this great nation fly. Tomorrow, we will respect the fallen, the wounded, the mourning, those who 12 years later, still live with the aftermath of this tragic event every day. Tomorrow,  is a day to remember. A day to respect, honor, and mourn. Tomorrow, our nation will be united, hearts beating as one. And all over the world, we must remember other countries are with us. Tomorrow, maybe we can put aside our differences for once, and remember that day 12 years ago, view it as citizens of the world, regardless of our backgrounds.


18 comments:

  1. Bless the souls of those who perished in th 911 tragedy. We in Malaysia hope that you are able to share your personal experience with America that Malaysia, despite being a Muslim country consists of peace loving people of diversified races and religion.

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  2. Thanks Hanna for explain to them about us.. muslims.. :)
    I also wonder how will you to keep practice in malay language?
    Hehe.. mahu berborak dengan saya dalam bahasa melayu?

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  3. "Religion may define a person, but a person shouldn't define a religion."
    quote of wise one... well done... keep on writing...

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  4. Dear Hannah, Thank you for being part of Malaysian. Any chance that you could come back here? Should explore other states though. Would love to hear more from you. Cheers :)

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  5. Dear Hannah yang cantik - who is both beautiful physically and spiritually. Your musings touched many of us here and like them, I hope you will one day come back to stay even longer here in Malaysia.

    The online universe is so wonderful that it enables to bring like minded people closer together. Lets hope, through writing and sharing of experiences, we can all bring peace to the world in our own small way :)

    p/s I've been to NY and enjoyed it immensely :) Phantom especially & the cool NYPD guys on the street :D Am going to SF next (this week to be exact) with the Malaysian PM himself and hope that Malaysia and the USA will continue to enjoy wonderful ties amongst their people and governments alike :)

    God Bless and love much,
    Marina (MDeC, Cyberjaya)

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  6. my name is khan, im not a terrorist..

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  7. I love your writing..I enjoy to read your experience in Malaysia..someday you can come back again to Malaysia for holiday, and dont forget to invite your friend and family also..enjoy the adventure in Malaysia.. there still many palace you did not trace yet..with love from Malaysia :D

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  8. Black September adalah peristiwa yang menyakitkan karena menyudutkan umat muslim, please visit my blog www.goocap.com

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  9. September attack is not done by muslim but illuminati please search the truth from youtube,google, books or everywhere...
    P/s: i got this information from book by jerry d gray (an ex army) That book was sold in malaysia..

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  10. Black September, please visit my blog www.jogjawisatakita.blogspot.com or ww.jogwiser.blogspot.com

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  11. Indonesians now is very smart because they are a investing for travel insurance bali, they want to have their own security in the future

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  12. HANNNAHHHHH I MISSS YOU <3 i looooove your blog!!!
    how's the US ?:)
    http://verano-azul-malaysia.blogspot.de/

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  13. Glad that you enjoyed your year in Malaysia. Almost everyone have prejudice and expectations of others. Especially for those we do not know up close. That is why travel is important, to see the world for our own selves.

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  16. Hanna I live in rochester let's hang out together btw im malaysia too!!!

    ReplyDelete