New York, NY —
When the 9/11 attacks occurred in 2001, Ruveena was about eight years old. "I remember when I was a child I was pushed and shoved. Because of 9/11," she recalls.
She's 17 now, and although Ruveena is Hindu and her family is from India, she still feels the sting of anti-islamic bias. "I was always associated with, you know, 'You're a terrorist! Go back to your mother country.' I went home crying but my sister [said] 'It's OK. It's going to get better.'"
WNYC's Amy Pearl recently talked with Ruveena and four other teens from SAYA (South Asian Youth Action) about alienation and what it's like to grow up South Asian in New York City in the wake of 9/11--whether you're Muslim or not.
"Sometimes you feel like you can't tell anybody," Ruveena concludes. "But talking about it is one way to loosen it up a little. You feel a little lighter."