This year, the first-year book program on my campus–a program we call “Preface”–is reading How Does It Feel to Be a Problem?: Being Young and Arab in America, by Moustafa Bayoumi. In Problem, the author describes his book as about “twenty-something Arab Americans who since 2001 have had to navigate a rocky terrain somewhere between expectation and frustration” (6). There are seven chapters, and each chapter tells a different person’s story. First-year writing students read the book and discuss it in class, and we have a number of campus events scheduled to go along with the reading.
The book was chosen–I’m on the committee that selects the Preface book each year–in part because this fall marks the tenth anniversary of the attacks of September 11, 2001. Most of the students in our first-year writing classes have lived most of their lives after that date, and it’s been interesting to talk with them about their impressions of what happened that day and how (and why) the world has changed as a result.
I’m sure our campus is not the only one with programs or events related to 9/11, and it would be interesting to hear from others about what’s going on in other locations.
Is your campus observing the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks? If so, what events or programs have been planned? How do you make sure that all voices are heard? How do you balance the many points of view related to this topic? Please note: I’m not asking for a debate about the appropriateness of observing the anniversary or for speculation about problems that might (or might not) arise from such observances. Rather, I’m inviting readers to share the details of what their campus is doing this semester, ten years after 9/11.
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