Eve’s Afghani Angle

OPINION BY: EVE SLEMP

For students in high school, 9/11 holds a different impression to us than our teachers, parents, and any adult who witnessed the tragedy. Learning about a historical event through textbooks and documentaries is very different from experiencing it on the news or physically standing outside and watching the planes fly straight through the Twin Towers.

We weren’t alive, so it is hard to fathom this tragedy and the impact it left on the world.

For example, we don’t think twice about security at airports, yet there was a time when people could go right up to the gates of the plane with no questions asked. It is amazing how different our world was before 9/11, and how unforgettable and devastating this day will be for the history of America, along with the impact it had on other countries.

As the US retaliated against Al Qaeda and the terrorists, for 20 years, the Afghani people were able to live freely, women could dress in western attire, and have hopes and dreams. Just overnight, practically a blink of an eye, the war is over, and so much has been lost for the people of Afghanistan.

Women wearing burqas in Afghanistan

Women were stripped of their rights. They no longer could wear what they wanted, go out without a male escort, receive education, and see a future where all they’ve worked for matters. Women were even burning their diplomas in fear that the Taliban will execute them for their knowledge. Working to become a doctor or a lawyer, to suddenly be told that can no longer be a reality, is unfathomable. What once was in reach of so many women, is now just a dying flame of one’s hopes and dreams.

We, Americans, are so fortunate– so unbelievably lucky to live where we do; where we all can dream big and work towards our goals and future. We have the ability to make it happen. Sometimes, people only see America for the bad and all of its imperfections. No government can be perfect, but it’s easy to overlook the importance of being grateful for all that we do have compared to other countries.

Be thankful we can have big dreams and work hard to fulfill them. Why would refugees flock to America unless they too believed America would offer opportunities, freedom, and liberty?

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