Personal Narrative: Life After 9/11 Attacks

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As a Pakistani-American Muslim woman, issues of identity, diaspora, and civil rights have dominated my mind since before I could even put a name to those concepts. Growing up in New Jersey after the September 11 attacks meant constantly seeing negative media about Islam, and seeing my increasingly stressed parents deal with discrimination at their workplaces. I was only six years old when the attacks occurred, but I remember the aftermath clearly; my parents’ friends were being interrogated by police for simply looking Muslim, news floated among the community that hijab-clad women were being physically or verbally abused by random people on the streets, and my older brother confided in my parents that he was being bullied at school for having a Muslim name and brown skin.…show more content…
I was able to overcome the ensuing anxiety with the stable guidance of my parents, who reaffirmed my faith and identity and helped me rationalize the situation around me. My mother became my emotional and spiritual mentor, and she taught me that the best way to combat stereotypes about Islam is to be the best human and Muslim I can possibly be. My father thoroughly fostered my natural curiosity of history and politics, and he helped me understand why the September 11 attacks occurred with mature discussions. As I grew older, my parents’ advice and wisdom eventually cultivated within me a deep awareness of the need for greater social justice in the world, along with a passion for government and public policy. I realized that a sure way to affect change within the world is to get involved in policy while leveraging my diverse upbringing and life experiences to help those who are
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