This twelve episode podcast showcases the lives of twelve different people witnessing the 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and their perspective as they watched the travesty occur. The series introduces the lives of the New Yorkers before the catastrophic event and how their lives were altered afterwards. Famous actor Robert De Niro is even included in the series in which the narrator of the podcast interviews him about what was different about the city even the next day. He explains that instead of a the usual vivacious city that never slept, it was silenced, dull, and covered in debris. This podcast is very touching, upsetting, and describes the real stories of people who were directly affected by the tragic events of 9/11. I think this podcast is particularly interesting because as I grew up, I heard various stories of my family members and where they were during the devastating attack. This reminded me that most of my generation was newly born when it occurred or not even alive yet. I was just 10 days old when it happened and my mom told me the story about how she was sitting on the couch holding me and watching the news as it unfolded. The tone of these people individually telling their stories reminded me of the way my mom told her story to me.
Over one hundred people were killed in several different areas in France in response to the airstrikes that were fired in Syria and Iraq. They fought back by causing chaos all over parts of France - killing and injuring many. The terrorist group that launched this attack took responsibility and clearly stated that they were the ones that did this and that their ultimate purpose was revenge. They wanted to get back at France by using explosives, guns, grenades, and more to reign terror over the country. According to thefreedictionary.com, the definition of an act of terrorism is “the calculated use of violence against civilians in order to attain goals that are political or religious or ideological in nature; this is done through intimidation or coercion or instilling fear.” These terrorists attempt to put considerable time and energy into planning harm in order to punish the country as a whole by instilling fear in people who were going about their everyday life in peace. This brings me a great feeling of distress over the fact that innocent men, women, and children were subjected to such a violent act even though, they had not done anything wrong. There is no logical basis for causing their inhumane acts to other people simply because they were French.
The primary message of the poem is that terrorists are misusing religion as a means to kill innocent people. The author condemns their cause to be one of personal selfishness, which is in sharp contrast to what religion is all about, which is devoting oneself to a higher power, sacred beliefs, and faith. The perspective he uses is that he is disgusted with terrorism and encourages young people to stay away from such individuals and groups. The author’s word choice uses terms such as wicked, atrocities, horrible, tarnish, innocent, and evil. He also points out that they are the minority and do not represent the larger population. I think this is a strong poem because although it is brief, it touches on the most important ideas regarding terrorism. In the first line of the poem, it mentions that they disguise themselves in the color green, which I interpreted as their ability to blend in with the people even though they are not capable of humanity. The latin word religion means to respect what is sacred, so I am left wondering how they justify how taking the lives of others is a sacred cause.
The series of photos included in this photo essay are from a 2007 car bomb plot in London. These two cars were connected to a third car that was parked at the Glasgow International Airport which actually did explode. The bombs were made from gas, gas cylinders, and nails. The three men that were apprehended in these attacks had also carried out similar attacks in both Scotland, New York City, and Washington D.C. The photos in this essay depict the extreme amount of resources by law enforcement and emergency workers that become consumed by trying to thwart attacks such as these. The photos showcase the chaos and debris that was left after the third bomb was unable to be stopped in time. Just looking at the photos reminds me of how as a citizen, I have to constantly be aware of my surroundings and worry about going anywhere in a big city. I can see from the photos, other people’s reactions and feeling to this devastating event. I can only imagine what emergency respondents have to go through everyday to keep people safe from terrorists.
The leader of a terrorist group’s adult son Zak Ebrahim describes his life after his father became involved in multiple terrorist activities. He was a child raised to believe that hatred towards others was justified by a person’s difference in race or religion. As a young, innocent child he looked up to terrorists that he thought were family without knowing what they were capable of and what they did for a living. During his childhood, his family had to continuously relocate in order to avoid getting caught for their crimes. He ultimately had to choose for himself whether to follow his father’s path or determine to change his own destiny. This TED Talk is definitely the most eye-opening, inspirational ones I have heard because he found a peaceful life and grew up to be a genuine person even though he was raised by a terrorist. Even though hatred was all he ever knew and was shown, something inside of him told him that this radical lifestyle was wrong. Ebrahim mentions his quest for education and knowledge is what opened his eyes and heart to a world of peace and empathy for others - overall he realized the power of equality. His story is unbelievable especially knowing how easily I can be influenced by my family and their beliefs, even if I don’t particularly agree with them.
The article published by Elsamarie D’Silva in NPR, two days after the bombing in Manchester, stated why the author thought the attack was targeted toward females. In the article, the author makes a strong argument based on the fact that this was obviously a well-thought-out plan to kill many and injure hundreds. Due to the fact that Ariana Grande’s fan base is largely comprised of young women and girls, suggests that the terrorist’s objective was to cause harm mainly to this demographic. This article suggested an ulterior motive for the bombing and introduced that there might have been a specific objective. The terrorists could have chosen any other place to launch an attack like the other various attacks that have taken place in the middle of large cities. After reading this and being introduced to a new, completely unexpected perspective, I felt uneasy because it reminded me of all the ways that women and girls are already targeted in everyday life. Specifically, the thing that worried me was that if that concert had taken place in America, many of my friends could have attended along with myself for that matter. The attackers had to choose a specific time and place for the bombing, and they knowingly selected a concert that would bring thousands of primarily females together. Attacks such as these bring the terrifying thought of ‘that could have been me’.