Alabama wasn’t so much fun, but it was absolutely amazing to see the landmarks of the civil rights movement and experience the stories of its history in places like the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church and the house of Martin Luther King. Tomorrow morning we fly to New York which will be the last stop in our trip. Our time in NYC is short but we will get a chance to attend a Broadway show and meet some friends. It should be exciting.
29 thoughts on “New York, New York”
I wish I’m with you in Broadway.
I hope you enjoy the show.
Ahmed, Do give me a call if you’ve a few minutes.
Be sure to go visit the site of the World Trade Center, Saudi Arabia’s most notable contribution to New York City. Notice how noisy New York is, except for near the WTC. Note how New York cab drivers, who are constantly honk their horns everywhere for every reason, do not honk their horns near the WTC. Notice how quiet the crowds are as they absorb the scene and talk in low tones to each other.
Here and there you may find a flower stuck in the fence, a small memorial from one of the many mourners of friends and family members lost. Though it is prohibited now, some people still post photos of their dead loved ones on the fence. You might find one or two. The police are slow to take them down.
Then, as you are standing there, taking it all in, ponder the fact that at two of the mosques within view of the burning towers, the Muslims inside spilled out into the streets to celebrate the sight while people lept to their deaths. Then you might understand why we Americans considered Muslims depraved, Islam an evil religion, and Saudi Arabia our enemy.
9/11 is not Saudi Arabia’s “contribution” to America anymore than the Oklahoma City bombing by American citizen Tomothy McVeigh is American’s “contribution” to Itself. Same with Columbine and Virginia Tech. These are acts of violence committed by individuals.
On 9/11, like most Americans, I sat watching news coverage from NY most of the day and evening. I did not see any news clips showing Muslims, or other people, celebrating while the WTC collapsed. Nor have I seen any since.
If you have such evidence, please produce it- with appropriate authentication. Until then comments such as yours “contribute” nothing to international dialog and understanding other than to demonstrate to the entire world that ignorant, irrational, and biased peoplel exist in every country.
“we Americans considered Muslims depraved, Islam an evil religion, and Saudi Arabia our enemy”
I just don’t like the generalization. You can say “I considered ..” rather than “we Americans considered..”. Despite of that, I respect your pov. I think maybe we are paying the prize of some bad ideologies. Religions also contributed in most of the wars in history. But still, we cannot blame a whole group because of individual’s act. Osama represents his own undertanding of his religionm not his religion.
Thank you. Sorry Ahmed for talking off the topic.
Havent replied to my question yet!!! I dont see why you would allow Tantor to write his smearing comments that are based on generalizations and not post mine that is based on facts!!
…Then you might understand why we Americans considered Muslims depraved, Islam an evil religion, and Saudi Arabia our enemy…
Generalization is a disservice while you’re certainly entitled to your own opinion. It’s grossly unfair to paint the entire people with a broad brush. I definitely hope that others don’t view each one of us as Tim McVay.
Too bad you did not have a chance to see the states on the West coast. Hope you have a good time in New York.
Next time Ahmed and me are going to hike the Natchez Trail (Missisippi) in an effort to bring world peace:
“israeli and saudi – walking the trail of native indians” :D
I hope you are enjoying your visits and sights.
Number of Operations Iraq Freedom and Enduring Freedom casualties as confirmed by U.S. Central Command: 4213
Whether 9/11 occurred, or not, whether there were Saudi involved or not, Tasteless Tantor, would still be spreading the same racist, obnoxious message around. His message of hate is quite clear, and he is no different than those extremist in cave trying to spread hate, and destruction.
Have a great time in New York Ahmed,,,
Jane Doe: “9/11 is not Saudi Arabia’s “contribution” to America anymore than the Oklahoma City bombing by American citizen Tomothy McVeigh is American’s “contribution” to Itself. Same with Columbine and Virginia Tech. These are acts of violence committed by individuals.”
Jane Doe, you are terribly misinformed. Bin Laden was merely acting out the Wahhabi religious doctrine which is the official doctrine of Saudi Arabia. Nothing Bin Laden says is original but rather what he was taught in Saudi schools, mosques, and media. That doctrine holds that America is the Great Satan because it is an infidel superpower. According to Wahhabi doctrine, it is an offense to the natural order of things for non-Muslims to dominate the Muslim world. The Wahhabis actively preach jihad against America, along with the Western world, and their destruction to create a world-wide religious empire. Bin Laden’s acts are an expression of that doctrine.
It was Saudi Arabia which financed Bin Laden with hundreds of millions of dollars. The $500,000 which financed the Sep 11 attack came from Saudi Arabia and the Gulf. Some Al Qaeda captives named Saudi princes as their contacts, fixers, and financiers. Saudi Arabia continued to support Bin Laden even after Al Qaeda attacked within Saudi Arabia, only turning against him when it could no longer be plausibly denied that Al Qaeda was killing Saudis in Saudi Arabia.
By contrast, the American criminals you described are not supported by the US government, are not acting on a doctrine propagated by the US government, and were vigorously prosecuted by the US.
Virtually every Islamic terror attack has a Saudi connection.
Jane Doe: “On 9/11, like most Americans, I sat watching news coverage from NY most of the day and evening. I did not see any news clips showing Muslims, or other people, celebrating while the WTC collapsed. Nor have I seen any since.”
Most crimes are not photographed. It is foolish to assert they did not happen because they were not photographed.
A survivor who fled the WTC before it collapsed said that when he was running past a mosque on 12th (?), the members of the mosque were out on the street celebrating the sight of the burning buildings. There is also a report that a mosque across the Hudson in New Jersey celebrated the sight.
Jane Doe: “If you have such evidence, please produce it- with appropriate authentication. Until then comments such as yours “contribute” nothing to international dialog and understanding other than to demonstrate to the entire world that ignorant, irrational, and biased peoplel exist in every country.”
Quite frankly, you are the ignorant party on this topic. You have no idea of the religious hate that is common currency in Saudi Arabia that spawned Sep 11.
Sep 11 was not the act of a few religious rogues but rather the expression of the Wahhabi death cult supported by the state of Saudi Arabia. Pretending that the Saudis are our friends is as crazy as being back in the 1930s and pretending the Nazis were our friends. The Saudis are against everything America is about: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Optical_Illusion: “Whether 9/11 occurred, or not, whether there were Saudi involved or not, Tasteless Tantor, would still be spreading the same racist, obnoxious message around. His message of hate is quite clear, and he is no different than those extremist in cave trying to spread hate, and destruction.”
It is typical topsy turvy Muslim logic that holds that anyone who hates terrorists and terrorism must be a terrorist himself. What a false moral equivalence you propose that the targets of Muslim violence who condemn their attacks must be acting out of hate. What a lame rebuttal you present when you claim that Americans like me object to Saudis not because they butchered Americans by the thousands in our homeland but because we’re just racist. It is a pathetically weak race-baiting defense of the indefensible. I don’t find it surprising at all that those like you seeking to deflect blame from the Saudis for their policy of worldwide jihad are reduced to flinging mud.
Hi Ahmed , I hope you spend such a good time there .
I want to ask you , the aim of this
“exchange program ” what is it ?
What is the point of this trip? I bet the thinking is muslims are unfamiliar with our culture and when they experience it, it will somehow generate goodwill. But they aren’t and it won’t.
The muslims that flew planes into our buildings lived in the US and knew all about us. The mixing of sexes, general tolerance towards homosexuality, religious freedom etc. are considered forbidden by muslims. Showing them around will not generate anything but more hostility. Ahmed, I have read your blog in the past, and I know you are not an extremist, but I doubt this trip has improved your opinion of us.
The money and effort that went into this trip would have been better spent helping one of the many children that lost a parent when muslims killed thousands of innocent lives on September 11th.
I have read your series about your trip, it seems that it was nice and exciting. Hope u will arraive home safly. all the best
Keith: I administered programs like the one Ahmed is on–the International Visitors Program–for 25 years in US Embassies around the world. Absolutely across the board, this program is considered to be the most effective and most efficient Public Diplomacy program in the USG quiver. Congress agrees and participants agree.
The purpose is not to ‘make people like the US’, to make friends, as you seem to believe. It is intended to give participants an accurate view of America, good, bad, indifferent.
Most people around the world do not have an accurate picture of the US. What they have is a collection of images derived from their local media, international satellite TV, and American film exports. While these have (varying) value, they are not a substitute for talking with, having a meal with, visiting with real Americans in America, unmediated by government.
Visiting with Americans in places like Montana or Alabama is useful because those people are rarely seen or heard on E! or MTV. They are not the subject of films or current TV series. But they are as much a part of America as are Washington, DC or NYC.
Visitors are not asked to leave the US with their hearts throbbing. They are asked to leave with a better idea of what America is, how it works, who ‘real’ Americans are. The US government believes that average Americans do an awfully good job of ‘explaining’ America.
Not everyone walks away with favorable impressions from exchange visits. (Sayyed Qutb is a glaring example of this. A visitor who gets mugged in Chicago certainly doesn’t leave with a good impression.) Most, however, do leave with a better idea of how the US works.
The different program agencies that put together these trips try to make them intellectually challenging for the visitors, based on brief biodata the visitors provide. Not all trips are tightly tailored, but most try to push the envelope for the participants.
I’m truly sorry that you have such a poor (and poorly informed) image about Muslims. You might try to widen your reading material to include more factual and less opinionated media.
I agree with you that trips like this can be very educational. I very much like the idea that guys like Ahmed, who does not appear to be a radical, can come see America in person and compare it to the nightmare version presented by their biased local media. When Muslim propaganda meets American reality, I think America will be the winner. It’s money well spent.
But John, we Americans will continue to have a poor opinion of Muslims as long as there is a plot uncovered every month where they are trying to kill us. Do you see how a steady stream of Muslim mass murder plots, failed and successful, would inspire disdain for Islam? Wouldn’t it be better if Muslims gave up such violence?
I can name a few things that your fellow Americans contributed to the world with the support of the US government. Hiroshima and Nagasaki, overthrowing democratically elected presidents all over the world, especially Latin America, Iraq and Afghanistan, Cambodia’s Kissinger, Somalia… and the list goes on. If you would only pull your head out of your blindly patriotic ass and start thinking logically you would figure these things on your own.
Your rebuttal is the typical tu quoque fallacious reasoning I’ve come to expect from Muslims, who have difficulty rebutting legitimate criticism and prefer to make wild counterclaims instead. Your idea that Hiroshima and Nagasaki were not righteous acts which saved lives and that Saddam Hussein was a democratically elected president of Iraq or is the stuff of Muslim propaganda which deserves no respect. Your foolish assertion that we deposed a democratically elected Taliban in Aghanistan is especially numbskulled. The implication that we had no right to defend ourselves against a country which launched the Sep 11 attacks is rather typical Muslim supremacism and obtuseness combined in an obnoxious package.
The fact is that Saudi Arabia has launched a jihad against the US, its greatest benefactor, merely because of its depraved Wahhabi hate for all things non-Muslim. It is an inhuman hate, a retreat from normal human virtues to the morality of reptiles.
The reason why Americans are hated all over the world (Not in muslim countries only) is because of the U.S acts against innocent people,
600,000 Iraqis were killed as a result of moral american act! and they will leave Iraq into 3 divided countris. and a civil war!
and more in Afghanistan, in Palistine, Lebanon, Cuba, Vetnam, Korea, Somalia, S. america, Jaban ..etc
How many wars have been waged by the US in the las 50 years? How many innocent people killed by US? Millions !
Please do not watch Fox news too much, it is not good for your brain.
Thank you for your response. You have explained the goals of the program to me (a taxpayer). You are trying as hard as you can, and I applaud your optimism. I look around the world though, and see that familiarity often breeds contempt not understanding.
The main trouble spots in the world occur where groups of people are in close proximity and often have lived together for centuries.
Hutus and Tutsis
Muslims and Hindus
Muslims and Buddhists
Muslims and Christians
Muslims and Jews
Arabs and Africans
Arabs and Kurds
Arabs and Berbers
Sunni muslims and Shia muslims
These people know each other and it increases their hate. This is why I am sceptical.
With All due respect to all replies, but the way I see it is that stereotypes of all forms had blinded us to the point where we could call each other with lame generalizations and even lamer excuses to justify our causes and goals. The reason for documenting history is not for pay back, it’s for learning and showing what went wrong at a certain point of time. Where this doesn’t mean that unforgivable mistakes should be done. The truth is if you people don’t appreciate life more often and decide to work together trying to fix what reckless individuals did, on both sides of the dispute, then you will never end up reaching anywhere further than what your poor eyesight could show you and what your brain could understand. If you look into history all religions had their extremists that at some point penetrated like poison through people’s brains and washed them completely; Therefore, don’t blame Islam, don’t blame Christianity, don’t blame Judaism, blame yourself for trying to create a reason to bring people apart.
Anti-Bush: “The reason why Americans are hated all over the world (Not in muslim countries only) is because of the U.S acts against innocent people, 600,000 Iraqis were killed as a result of moral american act! and they will leave Iraq into 3 divided countris. and a civil war!”
Anti-Bush, the reason America has a negative perception in the world is that crazy propaganda such as ‘600,000 Iraqis were killed by America’ is spread by those opposed to America to feed wildly prejudiced people such as yourself.
It was not America which caused the Iraqi Shia, Sunni, and Kurds to hate each other. Muslims have a long history of hating and killing each other, a fact ignored by such as you. Saddam’s Sunni solution was to kill off Kurds and Shia by the hundreds of thousands, driving them by the busload into the desert and shooting them in mass graves. America’s solution, by contrast, is for the three sides to govern themselves in peace in a liberal democracy. What irony it is that you transfer blame to America for this noble solution while turning a blind eye to Saddam’s slaughter.
Anti-Bush: “and more in Afghanistan, …”
If you will recall, we had no quarrel with Afghanistan until Al Qaeda launched an attack upon innocent Americans in our own home on Sep 11. Your assertion that America started a war in Afghanistan demonstrates what a wildly distorted perspective you have, one that deserves little respect.
Canadian Kal: “The truth is if you people don’t appreciate life more often and decide to work together trying to fix what reckless individuals did, on both sides of the dispute, ….”
Kal, you are making a false moral equivalence between the Saudi terrorists and their American victims. I challenge you to produce any attack America has made on Saudi Arabia that could be used as justification for the Sep 11 attacks or the covert Saudi foreign policy of jihad against the USA.
The recklessness and bigotry is not evenly distributed between the US and KSA, as you allege, but rather falls entirely on the Saudis. We built their cities up and defended them against their hostile neighbors. In return, the Saudis attacked us and burned down as much of our cities as they could reach.
There is something inhuman about the Saudi inclination to return evil for good, a feature of their intolerant religion which you should forthrightly reject rather than make excuses for it.
I am not in favor of what happened on the 11th of September, Actually I am totally against that yet you can’t throw all the responsibility on 20 million Saudi’s that live in the country. When you are saying that the U.S built Saudi Arabia didn’t you forget the core reason for that? isn’t it the same reason that the U.S declared their “freedom mission” to Iraq? Moreover, you can’t a whole on the account of individuals. KSA had several devastating attacks in two of their major cities a couple of times by the same “Jihad” groups you are talking about. I am not saying that one is right and the other is wrong what I am saying is both sides have done their fair amount of mistakes on one side it was explicit and on the other side it was implicit. If you look into the Saudi history look for King Faisal’s statement to U.S government that made the U.S government react negatively to it. Again with all the love and respect we should work together on a better future with a better understanding between people and cross-cultures.
This excellent website admirably makes the case against Saudi Arabia:
Read and learn.
you know it amazes Ahmed how you let this bouffon “Tantor” cut your country to peices in your blog, while you dont even attempt to refute him, or defend your country !!!!
New York , I love this city I love its diversity , skyscrapers and Times square , almost everything . In contrast of Alabama home of White Trash !!. definitely you will not love it .
Hassan, are you from Georgia? Only a Georgian would have nothing good to say about Alabama.
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