By Zeeko Zaki
Like most people, I remember where I was when the second plane smashed into the World Trade Center. I was in a sixth-grade Social Studies class in Unionville, Penn., surrounded by my classmates. Seventeen years later, I can vividly recall the images of the World Trade Center falling, just as vividly as I can recall another set of images aired shortly after: a group of villagers somewhere in the Middle East, rejoicing in the streets after the towers had collapsed.
In the ensuing hours, news outlets juxtaposed these two moments, and my 11-year-old brain wrestled with how to process them. The finer points of that day are lost to memory, but the brushstrokes of confusion, fear and sadness remain — as well as the sound of my name over the school’s intercom; my cousins and I being whisked from campus, without knowing why or where we were going or how this would end; the distrusting looks from people who wondered if they needed to fear my family, or me.
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