From a Common Egyptian
By Diaa Khalil
First of all I would like to send my consolation to every one in the US and outside concerning the incredible tragedy of Tuesday the 11th of September 2001.
When I heard this sad news I was at work with about two hours remaining prior to the end of the workday. Everyone in the office was absolutely shocked, so all left the office to watch the news.
Many of the Egyptians had invited foreigners to watch CNN at their homes. For myself, I remained at the office and connected through the Internet with several American friends who are visiting the USA but live in Egypt. The four of us shared the news, so I was able to keep up with the terrible events that were transpiring. Later, I offered my deepest condolences and departed for home.
I went home in a taxi (you know that in Egypt we talk to the taxi drivers or they talk to the riders easily). I asked the driver if he had heard about the events in the US and he said, "Yes an airplane crashed into some building".
He had not really heard what buildings, or even the circumstances, and as I explained this to him, he suddenly jammed on the breaks. He was shocked, and asked sadly, "Really? Are you sure?" When I explained that I was, he apologized for stopping so abruptly and he told me that his brother works in the World Trade Center as a programmer. "You would never believe how kind and nice he is." As he began to cry, he told me stories of his brother's warmth, and how he had been supporting his family in Egypt, as well as helping friends both in Egypt and the States.
I felt even sadder after this. At home, I watched CNN the remainder of the night, which was made available to all Egyptians. The next day, all of Egypt's leading newspapers covered the attack, with analysis of the dangers of terrorism to the world. It seems to happen everywhere now, killing the innocent, the women, children and the old of age. I think all Egyptians felt proud when our president Mubarak sent his and the Egyptians consolations to the president of the US, and his support.
The common Egyptians are so sad. There is much talk about who was responsible and how it could have happened. It seems more like a terror movie and is so very hard to believe, or understand. I would wish to tell the American people that we are all human beings. We all wish to live in peace together. Watching people die, women widowed and children orphaned is all so tragic. I would only wish that Americans do not lay blame too quickly. We also hope that Americans understand that Islam's first mission is peace, and the sharing of love, mercy and friendship as well as taking care of each other.