Stories written by Shamsad Mortuza

9/11: The Turning Point

In September 2001, soon after the attack on the Twin Towers, the Bangladesh government issued a public announcement to contact the America & Pacific wing of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the whereabouts of Bangladeshi residents. The director concerned was travelling from Barishal to Dhaka that evening; he remained ignorant of the horrible incident that had taken place that day. He came directly from Sadarghat to his office and started receiving a flurry of phone calls from worried relatives. He called in his associate, my wife, and asked: "What's the deal with the Twin Towers?" My wife briefed him, but he was in utter disbelief. "What do you mean the towers have collapsed? How could that even happen?" he exclaimed. My wife used two pencils and an eraser to demonstrate the incident, only to confuse the man even further. He rested his chin against his hand, and said: "Thank God, I took a photo in front of those buildings during my last visit."