Wednesday, September 12, 2012

About Today (in North Africa)

When I heard about Libya this morning, I felt something akin to when I learned of the twin towers.  No, this attack was not anywhere near on the scale of the World Trade Center, but this time it was very personal to me.  We are a foreign service family and both work at a U.S. Embassy the same region with a similar culture and no doubt at least a few extremists living around us.

My first reaction was nausea.  My second reaction was anger.  Surprisingly, it wasn't at the perpetrators of the crime, but at the people that made the video.  Yes, of course the terrorists are to blame, but what is the purpose of these types of videos?  I don't believe they are winning hearts and minds for any cause, nor are they drawing individuals to Christianity, which is supposedly one of the motivations for the makers.  It seems to me that mainly they just provoke extremists, and then the military and foreign service families pay the price.  We are the ones who live and work in these countries.  And while we choose this life, and love the job, on any average day it can be stressful navigating a Muslim culture.  When something like this happens, I then have to wonder if the Moroccans are equating me, driving down the street with my American plates, with the filmmakers.

Today I was scared.  Morocco is not my country, and while I enjoy it and love many people native to it, I don't truly know it. I was uptight today not because of a direct threat, but because something can happen at any moment, especially when people have been offended at the core of their being.

Our embassy will continue with business as usual tomorrow, while many officers will be mourning their former colleagues; everyone feeling on edge, even if they won't admit it out loud.  We will all be more attentive as we walk down the street.

But for now, I'm worn out.  And safe at home with my family.  

1 comment:

  1. On Sept. 11 I spoke with my classes about terrorism, extremism, and tolerance. Today I shared with them a bit of your story after reading this blog post. We had a great discussion about how our actions can impact those around the world and how important it is to practice tolerance. I can't imagine how scary it must feel to be there now in the midst of the surrounding violence, especially with your two young boys. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. -Katie Facto