It was a bright Tuesday morning I remember, when I switched on the television to watch whatever was showing after I was done with my morning chores and there it was ….breaking news on Deuchwelle television The Twin Towers have been bombed. As a wanna-be journalist then, I quickly remembered the bombings of US Embassies in Nairobi and Tanzania and immediately thought the American attacks were orchestrated by the same people. And I remember saying out aloud that’s Osama Bin Laden.
But I didn’t make a lot o sense o it then. From my history essons, I knew America was a superstar but I didn’t know of what significance the World Trade Centre towers were. I had never been to America before.
The following day, our local Ugandan newspaper the Monitor had a headline ‘Disaster’ while the New Vision had ‘America under Attack’.
At the time, I didn’t understand the magnitude but I knew whatever had happened to America the superpower that it is, (a status that it is fighting to maintain) but I knew the events will not change America but the world. And I was right.
For starters, America decided to hunt down the mastermind of the attack. This time I saw more pictures of the man with a long beard – Osama Bin Laden who was the alleged mastermind of the attack. As a child, I had watched as my parents and older siblings sat around the radio set to listen to any updates of the gulf war. I imagined it would be the same with America attacking Afghanistan and later Iraq.
With these wars, I learnt more about other countries and cities in the world. Afghanistan, Kandahar, Kabul, Iraq.
New words were added to my vocabulary; Terror, terrorism, terrorist, terrorist attack, bomb, caves and the famous phrase by then American President George Bush “We shall smoke them out”
New phobias emerged; phobia or people who wear hijab; phobia for people who belong to a certain religious sect, phobia or planes;
Indeed the world was never to be the same again and so did I.
Nine years or so down the road, I got an opportunity to travel to New York. While admiring the skyline, looking at the skyscrapers from my Hotel on 42nd street, I imagined how someone could target the talled skyscrapers in the area. One o my mentors told me “or once New York” was quiet.” Imagine the city that apparently never goes to sleep.
But how could a sane person plan to kill thousands of people at once. Is there a God somewhere who can surely justify that? Is there a person so heartless who can second this? Is there a people so ruthless that they are determined to continue such a legacy? Ten years later, we have more wars, more dead people, Maximum security prisons like Guantanamo; and CNN reports there is a confirmed attack threat against America!
And I can only ask one question: Where is the love? If every God says murder is a sin, then why are people killing each other? Ten years after 9/11, the world needs love. I hope when I blog, ten years from now, it will be to celebrate the love in the world.