09/11/2009 06:23 PM | By Huda Tabrez Community, Web Editor
Dubai: It's been eight years, but Gulf News readers still feel the reverberations of the terror attacks carried out on September 11, 2001.
The fallout of the day on which US landmarks were destroyed and thousands killed has led to more conflicts, deaths and destruction around the world. The attacks altered global perceptions on race, religion and ethnicity.
Haider Al Zuheiri, an Abu Dhabi-based manager, has felt these changes in his professional as well as personal life.
Changes in policies concerning travel and financial transactions made life a little more difficult for this Emirati, who also holds a British passport.
He said: "I understand the need for security, but there shouldn't be discrimination based on a person's ethnicity. I had been travelling to the US for years before the attacks, and the change in security measures was quite stark."
International money transfers became more complicated, too, creating problems for Al Zuheiri.
However, 9/11 was a more personal tragedy for him, as many of his friends lost family members in the Twin Tower attacks.
He said: "It was an extremely sad time for all of us, it's been a nightmare."
He acknowledged the need for added security to be in place to ensure such attacks aren't repeated, but also felt that these measures had an increasingly discriminatory overtone.
31-year-old Wuri Sasi Handayani agreed. An Indonesian expatriate living in Dubai, Wuri was also impacted by the increasing attacks on Islam. However, she tries to do her bit by clarifying misconceptions.
She said: "Since most terror attacks are apparently linked to Islam, as a Muslim I feel obliged to tell others that Islam & always teaches peace."
"To me, the US, especially its government and politicians, should use this tragedy as a reminder to always take decisions based on everyone's best interest, not political advantage."
Virginia Tuliao, a finance manager, was one such person impacted by the decisions taken by the US government after the attacks.
Her home country, Philippines, and the US have traditionally enjoyed healthy relations, but the change in immigration policies within the US left many of her friends, who wished to work and live in the US, high and dry.
She said: "Our economy has been quite poor for some time, now. Not only were my friends not able to get better jobs, many older Filipinos who had worked in the US faced problems with their pensions, too."
Arfah Shahid, a 17-year-old living in Dubai, is an active blogger, and comments on the eccentricities of the world post-9/11.
She said: "It is quite obvious in the blog world that the attacks have had a huge impact - not only on Muslims, but other communities, too. The stories of growing hatred and discrimination are very much real and impact individuals as well as their families."
"The main reason behind such behaviour is a lack of education. Most judgements, nowadays, are being made on appearances, which leads to all the problems."