In the Shadows of the Twin Towers

In the Shadows of the Twin Towers - Sex Roles, Vol. 51,...

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Sex Roles, Vol. 51, Nos. 5/6, September 2004 ( C ° 2004) In the Shadows of the Twin Towers: Muslim Immigrant Women’s Voices Emerge 1 Maram Hallak 2 , 4 and Kathryn Quina 3 The senseless attacks of September 11 left marks of sadness on us all. In a focus group, seven young women immigrants of the Muslim faith shared incidents and reFections on the special effects the attacks left on them. Their discussions shed light on important issues and dynamics in their lives, counteracting stereotypes of them as passive or uneducated. In addition, sources of stress, primarily from discrimination and media stereotyping, were discussed. ±rom their insights, the authors offer recommendations to help feminists raise awareness about, and acculturate to, these women in their quest to achieve without losing their culture. KEY WORDS: Muslim; immigrant; women. “Murderer!” she was called on September 11 as she hastily walked her little sister from school. “I act like I didn’t hear it and my sister was like, what did you do today?” 1 A bit of personal background may help illuminate this work. The ²rst author of this study moved to New York City 2 weeks be- fore September 11, to teach psychology as part of her ²rst aca- demic assignment at Borough of Manhattan Community College. She was still at the euphoric stage, while consumed with New York City’s diverse social fabric and vibrant way of life, when tragedy struck. As a survivor of civil war that shredded her home county to pieces, she experienced a reappearance of Fashbacks and nightmares of those years. Although not a Muslim, she is ed- ucated in the Muslim faith, and very familiar with the culture and ways of life. So when the college asked her for help, she developed a support group for Muslim women affected by the tragedy. The lessons learned from these women convinced us that this study, however preliminary, was needed to open more eyes of professional psychology and of feminists to their world post- September 11, 2001. It is ²tting that this issue is dedicated to Sue Rosenberg Zalk, a mentor to both authors, since it was in her name that a small group of us met at BMCC on September 8, 2001, in the shadow of the glistening Twin Towers, to discuss ways to promote safety for refugee women, and peace in the Middle East. 2 Department of Psychology, Borough of Manhattan Community College, New York, New York. 3 Department of Psychology, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, Rhode Island. 4 To whom correspondence should be addressed at Department of Psychology, Borough of Manhattan Community College, New York, New York; e-mail: [email protected] The events of September 11, 2001, are an inte- gral part of this story. Before that date, they were seven young Muslim women students and an Arab American faculty member at a community college in lower Manhattan, next to the Twin Towers, which served as a symbolic beacon to their education. On September 11, several witnessed the planes crash- ing into the towers, and their horrible collapse. All were caught up in the chaos of a city under attack. In
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This note was uploaded on 01/24/2010 for the course PSYCHOLOGY PCO 4930 taught by Professor Perrin during the Fall '09 term at Florida State College.

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In the Shadows of the Twin Towers - Sex Roles, Vol. 51,...

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