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the November 2001 issue of World Press Review (VOL. 48,
Nilay Karaelmas, Radikal
(liberal), Istanbul, Turkey, Sept. 16, 2001. Karaelmas is WPRs
people are in love with cities! Im one of these people. Such
a love and passion I cannot explain. Does this love have any kind
Of course, I am speaking of New York. I lived there for about six
years. And on Sept. 11, I lived its nightmare. Petrified at first,
I then watched through tears as the first tower collapsed, live,
on television. I bellowed, crying, My city is gone; my tower
is gone. A moment later, when one of my friends called me
in horror and panic, I was nearly exhausted.
As my friend on the phone asked, What are you saying? I do
not understand, I was crying. Later, as I watched the collapse
of the second tower, my tear drops were melded with my anger. Immediately,
I tried to call my friends in New York. It was useless; I could
not reach them by any means.
When I lived in New York, the towers, the citys smell gave
me a rush of energy when I left for work in the morning. Those towers
are gone now. No, I dont live in Manhattan any longer, but
believe me, my sorrow is overwhelming.
Even on those days when I had no work to do, I sometimes made trips
around the city just to feel its liveliness. Everybody who lives
in New York is a New Yorker, and I feel honored to be a New Yorker,
too. When I attended New York University in Greenwich Village, the
first thing I saw after getting out of the subway was those towers.
I even have a photograph of myself, like a tourists snapshot,
taken boastingly when I started living in the city. I cannot explain
to you what a great pleasure it was to look out at the city while
enjoying a slice of Johns Pizza.
In the late hours of the disaster, I managed to reach my friends
who now live in New York, by phone and e-mail. They were inconsolable.
Though well, they have survived a great disaster. Thousands of people
have died, and New York has been devastated. Since the day of the
disaster, I havent been able to tear myself away from the
TV screen. When Rudy Giuliani, the mayor of New York, announces
information about the injured and dead on CNN, I listen carefully.
First thing in the morning, I check The New York Times on the Internet.
I certainly do not want to miss what the weather will be like in
The towers are gone. My city has taken a beating, but I believe
that it will rise again. And yet I am still crying for the thousands
of New Yorkers who have perished.