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…

The Perils of Fighting a Conceptual War

Every year as we approach Sept. 11, I ask my friends, colleagues, friends of friends whom I just met for the first time: Do you remember where you were that day?  The thing is, we all…

“Never Forget” What?

I don’t remember September 11, 2001.  My parents say I visited my preschool for the first time that day — the same preschool they picked me up early from just in case there was an…

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