Discrimination This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


I never used to be afraid of going out in public or meeting people, but a year anda half ago all that changed. On September 11, 2001, I came home and was notallowed to leave the house because my parents didn't want me to be in public andhave people judge me based on my appearance. I didn't understand. I was born andraised in America and never had to deal with reactions to my Middle-Easternappearance. All day I watched the news. Finally I just turned it off and startedthinking: Would people question my faith? Would I question my faith?

Atschool the next day, nobody really talked to me about the attacks. I was gladbecause I had no idea what to say. When I got home my aunt was there with mycousin. Apparently when my cousin walked home, someone had called her aterrorist. My aunt came home early from work because a co-workers had calledMuslims "the devil" and said he was going to kill all them all. A fewdays later I went grocery shopping and was given strange and hateful looks. I didn't know if I should say anything or not, so I just ignoredthem.

Since September 11, I have had to be more conscious of what I sayand do around certain people. Whenever I make a joke, I make sure that it doesn'tsound like something a terrorist would say. I've learned to keep my mouth shut insome situations. When people talk to me about how crazy those terrorists were, Idon't say anything because I already know that. My parents want me to defend myfaith and not let people put it down. They advise me on what to say to those whoask questions.

That day changed my life. Sometimes I get upset because nowI can't go certain places; my parents are afraid something might happen to me.They always want to know where I am and if I am all right.

Lately thingsaren't quite as bad as they were immediately after the attacks. People still askquestions, but not because they want to persecute me. Now it's because they wantto get to know me.



This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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BitterSweet1993 said...
Mar. 17, 2011 at 1:01 pm
Keep living with your head held high. It is of no fault of yours that the attack happened. Stay strong. :)
 
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