September 11th, 2001 was a very tragic day for the United States. There were a series of four coordinated terrorist attacks done by al-Qaeda, who’s a terrorist group. There were 2,977 deaths that day including the 19 hijackers. These attacks took place in New York City, Stony creek Township and Arlington County. These devastating attacks affected the whole world.
Moustapha Boulama is an immigrant from Niger. Like most immigrants, he wanted to come to the United States to give his family, especially his kids, a better life. “I can to this country to give my kids a better education,” Boulama explains. Before coming here, Boulama explains that his life was great. There wasn’t much he could complain about. Though that was the case for him, he never wanted his kids to grow up the way he did. “My family was well of. They were self-made. Just like any father, I always want my kids to have it better than I did. That meant coming to America.”
“When the attacks started happening, I just dropped my kids off at school,” said Boulama. He explained the he thought it was some kind of sick joke the radio station was playing on the listeners. That was when he received a call from his wife to turn the television on ass soon as he got home. He explained that he thought his wife was a part of a “phone scam.”
Several things ran through Boulama’s head. As he was discussing them, he started getting a little choked up. “I thought about my kids,” he explained. “I came to this country in 1996. My wife came in 1997, and we both came in through New York City. Now, my kids came in August of 2001.” Boulama explains the panic he and his wife were in. His wife was in tears later on that days because she thought to herself, as he did too, “our kids could’ve been on one of those planes.” Boulama explains that within less than a month of his childrens’ arrival to America, one of the biggest tragedies ever happen. It was something that “effected their state of mind.”
While refreshing his memory, Moustapha Boulama says he remembered his daughter, who was 6-years-old at the time, coming home telling his about a violent movie she and her classmates watched that day. To Boulama’s surprise, his daughter was talking about the attacks that were being televised. “I was confused as to why they would show something like that to elementary school kids. Later on, I find out that they were showing the broadcast in almost every class,” said Boulama.
It was all so much to take in for the Boulama family. Moustapha Boulama expressed the anxiety, anger, frustration, and sadness of that day. The year 2001 is one Moustapha Boulama and his family will never forget.