Three years ago three bombs went off in three different hotels. Many killed and injured from the blast, many more traumatized. When asked where was I at the time? I was at the 3rd circle and heard the explosions. I had my back to the third circle walking to the second. When I heard the sound my friend turned to me and said “What was that?” I dismissed it as fireworks again or even construction, we didn’t even look back! Twenty minutes later if not less I was working to make sure all my American students were safe and had to track down each one of them. I worked two phones and was fielding calls from my boss, from students, from families and from my friends and family. I even ended up taking a cab that night to one of my student’s homes to make sure she was OK. It was one of the most taxing and stressful few hours that I have spent at work having to invoke the emergency response system and account for the 25 some souls I was responsible for.
By the end of the night I had done my job but the enormity of what happened had not sunken in. I remember the next day much more clearly when it really hit me! I remember the silence that descended on the whole city. The eerie feeling of driving through the streets of amman and not hearing a sound. Not a car engine, no honking, no music, no street noises… nothing. It was as if someone had hit the mute button. People were walking zombies. There was anger, disbelief, shock, horror, and sorrow. Most importantly there was solidarity, there was unification, and everyone was your brother or sister. That afternoon the world came alive again; Jordanian flags, solidarity marches, patriotic songs were everywhere. People came together.
I remember my distressed response; I cooked and cooked and cooked and cooked out of distress. I remember the feeling of emptiness. I remember the shock that choked me up. I remember the sorrow. I remember the anger. Senseless murder and terrorism! I hope that we never experience this ever again. I personally have had enough war, murder, terror, pain, fear and displacement.