Norhan Basuni: Speaking for Islam

Wednesday, September 07, 2011


Norhan Basuni divides her life into the time before September 11, and the time after. For her, it is the day that she, an ordinary 7th grader, became a symbol of Islam — of "them" — and to some, of terrorism.  

In the wake of the attacks, she remembers her father telling her she could no longer wear hijab because he feared for her safety after family friends were attacked in the street.

In the WNYC special Living 9/11, she tells how someone ripped off her own hijab at a bus stop. You can hear how she has tried to help Americans understand Islam better in the story she produced as part of the Radio Rookies program here.

What do you want to remember from 9/11 and what do you want to forget?

I want to never forget the solidarity that held this country during the aftermath of 9/11. What I would like to forget is the isolation that the Muslims endured during 9/11 and the feeling of being a stranger in our home, America.


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Comments [1]

To Norhan Basuni:

I enjoyed your presentation on WNYC Radio Rookies. You are very articulate. And your photograph is as beautiful as your voice. I retired from teaching 37 years at The Hockaday School, a private girls’ school in Dallas. I had several girls the last few years who fasted at Ramadam. After living in Viet-Nam 68-70, being married to an Air America pilot who was killed flying in Laos, and traveling through SEA, Europe, and recently Israel, my Texas horizons have broadened. I have continued my Buddhist studies begun my first year teaching in California. When my niece, brother, and I were in Jerusalem Sept 2010, our Muslim guide Nasser Aweidah was so gracious, pushing my brother in his wheelchair and driving my niece and me to Bethlehem. Nasser told me his daughter is an engineering student [he knew I taught at a girls’ school] and invited us to spend Eid with his family. I look forward to hearing more of your work. You’re on the “write” track. Enjoy the journey. Namaste.

Kay Merkel Boruff
Dallas, Texas

Sep. 09 2011 10:35 PM

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