Our Changing World

Ali Günertem
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September 11, 2001 Tuesday; a big blue sky and the morning chill of September... I arrived at the golf course, which was near Dulles Airport, 40 kilometers from Washington, D.C. My friends Mustafa, Uğur and Aret were waiting for me.
We started playing at around 8:25. When we reached the third hole I noticed that we had come very close to one of the runways of Dulles Airport. Curiously, there was a lot of landing traffic for 8:50 in the morning. A lot of planes passed over us as they landed on the runaway, one every 30 seconds. When we arrived at the eighth hole it was almost 10 o’clock. After one of the field officials told us the golf course was closed, we learned what had happened.

We at once tried to call our wives but the phone lines were out. I heard on the radio that the offices and stores in Washington’s city center were being evacuated in panic. My wife’s office was in the city center and I was worried very much since I wasn’t able to talk to her. It was two o’clock when I reached home, having struggled through the crowds and the panic on the roads. My wife was at home; she hadn’t been feeling well and hadn’t gone to work. I felt relieved and hugged her. I remember saying in her ear that from now on we would be living in a different world. I sat down in front of the TV and started to watch those scenes that will never leave my mind.

The new world system that has come into existence following the attacks brings new problems with every passing day. In this new world system the USA now has to confront China and India. The European Union is still struggling to strengthen its position.

With all the hot clashes around the world, these powers are trying to find a base on which to stand steadfast. Today we live in a world where borders are being violated, unpreventable natural disasters increase every year, energy prices have gone mad, and where, as far as we can learn from the press, every day other 9/11-type attacks are being planned but are foiled by the authorities.

When I look back in history, I see that every past generation had to deal with the hardships that their age brought. Yet, human beings must be experiencing the most difficult times today, at the beginning of the 21st century. In this age, economic borders have disappeared and the new super power candidates, China and India, have tightened the need for energy; hard days are waiting for the next generation.

After 9/11, the entire world saw how strong New Yorkers could be and how quickly they recovered from the catastrophe by supporting one another. Human beings can endure; this is why I believe that we will all overcome these hard times.  If the world has changed after 9/11, we human beings have to catch up with this change in order to provide a better universal life for the coming generations. For this, we first have to control our reason and then our feelings. We have to learn how to live without losing our common sense, without being distracted or sabotaged. We have to reject war and the supporters of war; we need to strengthen social awareness and must work out the mechanisms of solidarity in our society. The 21st century forces us to do so.

(October 2006, 22nd Issue)
Last modified onSaturday, 06 May 2017 10:07