Friday, May 3, 2013

From Saudi Arabia, Boston Born American Muslim Grieves Marathon Bombing Victims

By Nawall Hassan
Junior Reporter
JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia – Tragedy is the unavoidable menace that walks among us, striking at the most unexpected of times.
On the gloriously clear-skied day of April 15th, 2013, children and adults alike in Boston – my hometown – left their homes with the intention of spending a memorable day at the famed Copley Square with loved ones. No one was anticipating that they would soon be the victims to a dreadful, heinous act of terrorism.
Growing up in a city like Boston can leave a profound mark on a person, as I know quite well. Though my family is now living in Saudi Arabia, I was born and raised in Quincy, the Boston suburb that was home to one of America’s Founding Fathers, President John Adams and his family.

Yelena Samofalova /

After the bombing at the 

Marathon, the 
streets around

the finish 
line at Boylston Street,
where the bombs were 

were enclosed 
with barricades. 
Patriot’s Day afternoons passed with my family in downtown Boston were the paramount moments of my childhood. Upon hearing of the bombing, my thoughts first drifted to who could have the heart to pollute something as sacred as a lifetime of memories.
My second response was to hope and pray we didn’t share the same faith.
As a young American Muslim, it isn’t hard to get lost within two oceans of culture. It truly is a calamity when a race, nation, or religion is persecuted for the actions of misguided members.
The residents of Boston sought a festive gathering of society to promote health and well-being, but were instead confronted with the disturbed belief that justice could be taken into one’s own hands. As said in the Holy Quran, [Chapter 5, Verse 32] “… that whosoever killeth an innocent human being ... it shall be as if he had killed all mankind, and whoso saveth the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind.”
In this part of the world, some people are enraged.
“How dare they cause such a large commotion over three deceased Americans while hundreds die in Syria daily?” some said.
Yes, attention should be given to the genocide, war, and starvation claiming lives around the world. But death is death. Whenever a guiltless human being ceases to exist, regardless of their religion, ethnicity, gender or age, it becomes a tragedy that deserves immense mourning.
The world we now live in is divided and lacks the mutual understanding between diversity, culture and beliefs. Bridging these gaps would lead to a more socially interconnected planet, and, ultimately, a more peaceful one.


barefootmeds said...

Nawall, this is SO well written, well done. Your thoughts are poignant and succinct, and your analysis of the perceived American/Muslim dichotomy is spot-on.

peace03 said...

Thank you for sharing your perspective as an American Muslim.