Monday, 12 September 2005

Four years ago

Yesterday, I didn't even remember that it was 11 September, anniversary of the New York attacks. I had a board meeting yesterday morning and I was thinking about that. It was also a friend's birthday, so I was reminding myself to send her greetings. And I was thinking about the peace march that covers 28 kms from the city of Perugia to Assisi.

It was only after the meeting, after lunch and after the afternnon nap, that Nadia told me that they were showing a Chinese film on the TV. I love Chinese films. She said that it was about children lving near a brick kiln.

I had immediately hoped that it was the film where Gong Li plays the mother of a deaf child. I had seen it on TV in China but since it was in Chinese, I hadn't followed it properly. But the film on the TV was about a teacher wearing a chador, trying to explain to nursery kids about bombings in New York and when children could not understand the meaning of "tower", she took them out to look at the chimney of the brick kiln.

It was that film where different directors have made short films on the theme of 11 September. The Isreali film was about a suicide bomber and a journalist who wants her story.

Mira Nair's film is about Salim, an American born in Pakistan, and the film was called "Terrorist".

"The exiled man" from Chile, was bitter about the American double standards.

The director from Lebanon has made his film about a dead American marine, his lebanese girl friend and a Palestinian suicide bomber.

The dream of boys in the film from Burkina Faso is to catch Osama Bin Laden and get 24 million dollars' award.

But my favorite film was about the deaf French girl, who has a fight with her boyfriend in New York, and is hoping for a miracle.

My own memories of that 11 September 4 years ago, seem an episode from the same film. The waiting at Milan airport, shopkeepers suddenly closing their shops and running away, the unbelievable images on the TV in the bar, my cancelled flight to Beirut, the journey back to Bologna and all the while, thinking about my mother who was travelling to Washington DC that morning. Her flight was diverted to somewhere in Canada and for few days, no body could tell where she was.


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