Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Remembering 9/11

It was around 5:00 in the afternoon when the news reached our office that terrorists had attacked the World Trade Center Tower in New York.

Since our office prohibits televisions, radio and other devices, there was no source of information to see what was happening except for the news from the Internet. At that time, only few employees were given access to internet and most of the news channels and websites were blocked by our IT Department, so everybody was waiting for updates in Yahoo News.

I could see how some of my anti-Americans employees cheered for the unexpected attacks, wherein no one was able to impede the event (not even the American prevented it to happen), that shocked the whole world.

At first, we thought it was just an unintentional plane-crash accident, but when we heard of simultaneous attacks in Pentagon, White House, etc., we have the same judgment that these were planned-terrorist attacks.

A week prior to the incident, there were travel advisories released by some embassies in Saudi and tight securities were already instigated in various parts of the Kingdom. As a matter of fact, my friend working in BAE System warned us to bring our Iqama always to anticipate several checkpoints in various parts of Riyadh.

I could see those “anti-Americans”, who agreed that the attacks were gratifying, exulted to their seats. While others showed their compassion and mercy, they exalted for their “vindication” for their resentment with Americans.

On the same day and time, a friend of mine was coming back to Riyadh from Manila via Saudi Airlines. He was not aware of the attack while on board. It was only when they landed safe in KKIA and spent 4 hours of tight inspection before coming out from the immigration, that they were informed about the risk while on board. What if a terrorist was on board and their plane was used to carry out the attack?

Since the 9/11 attack and the succeeding conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel, Lebanon, everything had changed here in Saudi Arabia. The Diplomatic Quarters had been on red alert at all times, setting up check-points in entry points. The Military installations, government hospitals and offices had put up barricades, provided military personnel and installed concrete blocks within the entrance to assure maximum security. Private compounds, where we usually hold our parties, had limit the entries of visitors. Check-points in Riyadh boundaries had been very strict.

It so sad to note that even Filipinos are being considered by some Muslims as allies of Americans because of GMA’s support to US during the Iraq invasion. Likewise they thought that being a Roman Catholic is similar to being a Jew.

Nevertheless, extra precautions, faith in God and obedience to the law have put us on a safer and secured condition here in Saudi Arabia. Let’s just hope that conflicts in religion will not aggravate in the future and peace will triumph against atrocities.

1 comment:

chase said...

[a moment of silence