Good morning! My name is Asher and I am a part of the 9/11 project at I.S. 62. I contribute to this project by being an artist and speaker. Due to the fact I was born 7 years after 9/11, I didn't know much other than that there was a terrorist attack on the twin towers that killed many people on 9/11/01. I only knew the bare minimum, and that information was reinforced one day every September at school, along with icebreakers, seat assignments, and essays about summer vacation.
I was never aware of what happened to people in my community, a majority Muslim neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York. I was unaware of the danger they were in, the discrimination they faced and still face today. For example, shortly after the Twin Towers fell, mosques in the community were surveilled by police. Children were harassed in the street. The father of one of my friends at school was harassed at work for being Muslim, and he was forced to stay at home for multiple days.
I was never educated on this in school. In school, the only victims that were acknowledged were the people in the Towers, blatantly ignoring the students right in front of them. Now that I am working on this project, I have gotten the opportunity to be in a space where these stories are being told. I am frustrated at my past self that I didn't look deeper into the small taste of information I got in school. I had the luxury of not having to look into this deeper, because as a white, non-Muslim person, I was not being affected by this on an individual level. Students our age need to remember 9/11 to become better allies to those who were impacted and are still being impacted to this day. Students in my school are still called “terrorist” and profiled 20 years after this event. We need to remember the whole story.