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  • Saira Sufi

20 Years and Sparkles

Indelible memories. Hadi squeezing my hand while intubated when he heard his brother’s voice. Coming home to an empty closet. Nay’s outfit on September 12, 2001. While the radio was blasting Born in America and I thought about the irony in that song being played, I looked over at Nay’s red, white and blue flair that only Nay could pull off. There were sparkles too. There are usually sparkles. Two youngins, one from Staten Island, one from Topeka driving to Capitol Hill in a red VW bug.

On the actual day of September 11th, a coworker was able to get me and our boss into his car and tried to get us as close to my Rosslyn apartment as he could. Before we were turned around by the police, I stared at the smoke coming from the Pentagon. I remember the same coworker making a comment about how my people were going to have a really hard time now. My people, huh? I am too spent to explain how I felt then or now.

Nay is off showcasing her amazing reporting skills and co-hosting coverage of 9-11, 20 years later while I listen to my Zakaria explain to me what real Islam is and if only “those people” actually read the Quran.

Rosslyn, Virginia, September 11th, 2001-emotionally drained, watching old school Disney.

Sterling, Virginia, September 10th, 2021-emotionally drained, thinking-Never underestimate the power of the force.

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