September 11: Tell Your Story

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The September 11 Digital Archive

Smithsonian National Museum of American History, Behring Center Smithsonian “September 11:
Bearing Witness to History”

     Story of September 11
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Contributed by: Hajjar Ahmed
Contributor's location on 9/11: Near Washington, DC
Contributed on: 14 August 2002

How did you witness history on September 11th?

It's been nearly a year past and I haven't gone to my Quran tutoring lessons. I was supposed to go to class on the morning of Sept. 11, but then my teacher called and told me to stay home. She told me of frightening stories about Muslims working in Washington D.C. being harassed. After the phone call, I immediately turned on the TV and gaped at the horrifying scene like many other Americans. For several weeks, my dad, who's in the U.S. Air Force, warned my mom and I not to go anywhere. He especially warned us not to go to commissary at Fort Belvoir, VA. The servicemen over there wouldn't be happy to see two women wearing hijab shopping alongside them. I felt helpless staying at home. Like many others, I wanted to reach out and help. So a couple of months later, I organized a blood drive in my neighborhood to honor the victims of 9/11 and to help patients when there was a blood shortage at the local hospital.

What do you think should be remembered about September 11th?

September 11 gave each and every American an opportunity to reflect upon their lives. The people who lived and died on that dreadful day should be remembered.

Did you fly an American flag after the events of September 11th?

My family and I went into a flag frenzy immediately after the attacks. Sept. 11 definitely gave Old Glory a new meaning.

Cite as: Hajjar Ahmed, Smithsonian Story #138, The September 11 Digital Archive, 14 August 2002, <>.
Archival Information: 178 words, 939 characters

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