Exiting The Long Tunnel We Entered On 9/11

It has been nearly two weeks since we marked the twentieth anniversary of 9/11. For many in the United States and around the world, the anniversary has served as an opportunity to mine our…

When the World Becomes Your Battlefield

On Sept. 20, 2001, just nine days after the 9/11 attacks, President George W. Bush used the phrase “War on Terror” for the first time. Addressing a joint session of Congress — and the…

Flashbulb Memories in a Post-9/11 World

I was a freshly minted four-year-old on the morning of September 11, 2001. There’s not much I remember about that day, except a flash — I’m in my elderly neighbors’ kitchen in…

Looking Over My Shoulder

Sept. 12, 2001 was the first day of my politicization. You see, before that I had no reason to be afraid. I was born in Iran and came to the United States when I was about 4 years old. I had…

Arab Americans Are Here to Stay

My family once watched the fireworks every Fourth of July. We lived in the suburbs of Columbus, Ohio, and drove every year to watch the fireworks display in the park behind the local high…

Performing Whiteness After 9/11

Last week, I suddenly realized that I would be flying back to New York City on 9/11. I paused to unpack the fleeting panic that filled me. Why was I so afraid? Was it because if I spoke…

Coming to Terms with a Cultural Trauma

In the summer of 2001, I was twenty-six years old. I worked in a low-key academic staff position at a suburban Philadelphia university and spent my free time with friends. The headlines…

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