Darakhshan, 23, Pakistan/USA
My 9/11: Sept. 11

"Post-9/11, whenever I said I’m from Pakistan you always got this raised eyebrow or questions that followed up that are somehow tied to terrorism."

Brian, 33, Malaysia
My 9/11: Sept. 11

Bloody telemarketers. It had to be. Why else would my apartment phone be ringing so early in the morning?

It turned out to be my roommate, calling from the bookstore he was working at in Midtown Manhattan. A plane crashed into the World Trade Center, he said. And he couldn’t get my cellphone, he added. My first thought was that the pilot must be an idiot not to see such a big building on a wonderfully clear morning.

What actually happened, well, we all know now.

I watched the burning buildings in confusion from the rooftop of my apartment across the East River in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. I couldn’t make sense of what I was seeing, so I took some photos to make sure I will always remember what my eyes saw.

My usual morning radio accompaniment, Howard Stern, went from his usual revue of porn stars and midgets to share reports from callers about what was going on. This was the era before smartphones and pervasive Internet. No one had any idea what was going on and misinformation was rife. There was no mistaking the fear, however—when planes are crashing into buildings or falling from the sky, the fear was most definitely genuine.

People say they knew the world wouldn’t be the same as soon as they saw the towers collapse, but it took me awhile to fully comprehend the gravity of what I had just witnessed. It didn’t occur to me that all my friends and family back in Kuala Lumpur and other parts of the world would be watching in shock and wondering if I was OK, and that I should maybe call to assure them I was safe. Of course I was, but I can imagine someone watching in horror on TV thousands of kilometres away and fearing the worst.

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Tatsuo, Japan
My 9/11: 2011 earthquake and tsunami

"When I go to work now, I carry everything in a backpack with a water bottle and snacks, and also a mobile phone charger."

Screencapture from Storify

Screencapture from Storify

Torlawo, 27, Liberia
My 9/11: Sept. 11

I was just 17 years old and wishing to one day have the oportunity to continue my practice of journalism in the US where I may also be oportuned to further my schooling when the twin skyscrippers were brought down to ash by terrorists, leaving several famillies distressed for which I begin thinking that the US may not be safe. Though I regret the loss of thousands lives on this day but atleast the situation exposed the motive of extremists against this God blessed nation ‘America’. I hope that America will continue the fight against these wicked sets of people on this planet because it will safe the lives of billions of people. God Blessed Anerica.

Alejandra, 19, Bolivia
Bolivian gas crisis

I remember hearing the shots and gas bombs falling being shot to people.

The city was shut down. You could see every day on the news, people raging against the cops who were responding back with the same violence. Even more, with the police busy in the upper part of the city (closer to El Alto), the crime rate went up amazingly in the southern part of it.

When everything was over, the streets were a total disaster and many stores were still closed. But aside of being afraid I remember the change that started then, with the president resigning in such a bad manner, I could only imagine what would come next.

Courtesy Sebastian, VOA Student Union

Mohsin, Pakistan/USA
My 9/11: Sept. 11

"Now I have become an ambassador, somewhat, of Islam - an ambassador of my culture, without a choice."

Khalid, 21, Pakistan
My 9/11: Sept. 11

i returned by playing a cricket match along with my friends on 9/11 evening and i was very exited to tell my family that we have won as i was just eleven years old that time but what i saw after few minutes on the television it was something terribly horrible and my dad was thinking lot of things and i was confused about lot of things because by god i,m was keenly interested in international matters and discussions even though i was only eleven years old. As i was a child although those scenes on television impacted really hard on my mind like something printed on blank paper.

That black incident whoever did it or responsible for it changed not only my life style and way of thinking  but changed the whole world.

Mugabi, Uganda
My 9/11: Death of Idi Amin

The country rejoiced, and although I feel like rejoicing over the death of an individual is unjust, I felt relieved because honestly I along with my countrymen were scared that he would come back. Although it makes no logical sense since he lacked support and was 80 years old, I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders because he was gone and was never coming back.

Growing up, my parents didn’t really talk about Amin because they had grown up in total fear that they could have literally been killed if they were overheard talking about him or even just if the soldiers were bored.

Courtesy Sebastian, VOA Student Union

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Sufyan, 20, Pakistan
My 9/11: Global economic recession

"In 2009, when the world faced the global economic crisis and it hit America too, we had a business in the UAE. It hurt our business."

Linda, 16, Australia
My 9/11: Sept. 11

I was six. 

It was the first, major global event of my life.

I remember coming home from school, all geared up to watch cartoons, and feeling slightly (and very childishly) peeved when every single channel was showing smoking buildings.

And then I realised what had happened. And I sat. Very quietly, very numbly, and very much in shock. 


To anyone who believes that Muslims are happy about 9/11…

They aren’t. 
As a Muslim and a New Yorker, I can say that 9/11 is the worst day I have ever lived through. Many Muslims were victims of 9/11, who died as those towers fell. Many Muslims were first responders, who also died trying to save the lives of their fellow Americans.  And yet Muslims were severely discriminated against after that day. I was only nine years old on September 11th 2001. But the bullying I endured for the years after left scars both physical and mental.

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John, 26, South Sudan
My 9/11: Sudanese Civil War

"My September 11 is the joining of the army in 1997 when I was 12 years old."

Michael, 30, Uganda
My 9/11: Northern Uganda War

The 23 years of War in northern Uganda, where many people were congested into camps for years and cultivation was restricted to specific crops and in a radius of 2km near the camp. There was forced married where girls could be sent to get married to wealthy men to support homes, Health facilities were dead, health facilities were poor, grass thatched houses were burnt, people were cooked in pots and mascaraed. School Children were abducted and we could sleep in the bush whole night for safety. Due to this situation that was difficult, My brother who was in Jinja Decided to take me to continue with many studies. Many of my class mates have not made it to universities or tertiary institutions and other have ended up being abducted.