While I did enjoy the memoir, I often was frustrated at reading about the suppression of the women. I used to be a member of the Feminist Majority Leadership Allianace (FMLA) at Hunter College, which is part of the Feminist Majority Foundation (FMF). I had joined this group as an undergrad about a year and a half before 9-11. The first thing I had learned via the group was about the atrocities that was occurring to women due to the Taliban. To raise money for awareness, we sold pieces of burqa with the net. I remember students stopping by the table, putting the net to their eyes, and being in shock over the situation occurring. What I learned has affected me to this day. My hope is that women who are fighting to build a better life can do so that they will be able to attain peace and gain back what was taken from them.
In the memoir, Ms. Rodriguez is able to connect with the women, and in doing so, we learn that some of them had your average life - a working family, a nice home, and most of all, a reason to smile. Imagine if everything you knew was taken away from you because one group decided that they knew what was best for society. Imagine if these same people who had promised a better life instead took away a child's laughter, art, the basic beauty of life, and instead murdered and caused havoc. The Taliban promised to make things better, but instead stole husbands, wives, sons, daughters....
My family was also affected by the actions of those who wanted to destroy just to prove a point. I was still living in NYC when the attack occurred. Just writing this makes me shake. So much to remember. What I can say right now is that my father was one of those who went downtown to help with the recovery. He was a Correction Officer at the time and his department was asked for volunteers to help. I remember him coming home with such a stench that I cannot describe, his face drawn, weakened by what he saw. There are things he saw, he recovered, that will haunt him for life. Of course now he is suffering from the aftereffects. He has some sort of mass growing behind his eyes. He had to get an operation on both his eyes because one day they just swelled shut. He has just been sick since that time. One of his fellow volunteers died because his health rapidly deteriorated. The attack not only killed thousands but also destroyed families, and the repercussions to this day are unfathomable. Every time I hear a plane that sounds too close for comfort, I freak out inside. My husband saw one of the towers collapse. He does not talk about it.
Sometimes I get so stressed over the most mundane things, such as running out of butter or not being able to buy a book. Then I open my eyes and realize how lucky I am to be able to just live. It may not be perfect, but I can smile, I can dance, and I speak my voice. I reflect and I understand that what I take for granted is another's treasure. And a treasure is worth keeping.