Raquel Benson is a Senior Contributor to TDA, a journalism student, humanist, and artist with issues of chronic imagination. She may be brash, but it stems from a deeper concern for the world around her.
An Uncommon Bond
There is no doubt that the U.S is still shaken by the events of 9/11 and many Americans still harbor feelings of resentment towards the perpetrators of the attacks. And yet, a surprising bond has formed between two women who were affected in two very different ways.
Phyllis Rodriguez, who lost her son in the World Trade Center collapse, and Aicha el-Wafi, whose son was convicted of heavy involvement with the attacks, have become good friends, and stand united against a common enemy: violence.
In December el-Wafi and Rodriquez spoke at a conference for women about their compassion and respect for each other, and Rodriguez stated that “when people heard that my son was a victim, I got immediate sympathy. But when people learned what her son was accused of, she didn’t get that sympathy. But her suffering is equal to mine.”
Shocking as it is to others, to the women their relationship seems natural. After the attacks, el-Wafi requested to be introduced to the parents of the victims of 9/11—something that no one saw coming. The U.S complied, and introduced her to five different families that had been personally impacted. Among these, el-Wafi found Rodriquez. Since then, the lives of these women have not been the same.
In an interview with the Forgiveness Project, Rodriguez revealed her sentiments about the death of her son; “When Greg was killed, I thought, ‘I will never forgive the people who murdered my son’, but I have come to see forgiveness as more than a word; it’s a context.” She went on to explain that she and el-Wafi are in an alliance; a movement together against the violence within which this world seems to be lost.
Read more at Yahoo! News.