Nine/Eleven: One Year Later

Novinite Insider » INTERVIEW | September 10, 2002, Tuesday // 00:00

JEANNE TOPALOVA: HUMANITY IS STILL VULNERABLE TO ITS OWN ANGER AND FRUSTRATIONS

Mrs Topalova works in JPMorgan Chase in Manhattan

Q: Where were you on September 11th last year? What are your most vivid memories from that day?

A: I was at work on the 48th floor of a Midtown Manhattan skyscraper and therefore had a direct view to the WTC. What I saw seemed unreal - media has desensetized most of us. Following the collapse of the two buildings I left work (one could not feel particularly safe on the 48th floor that day). The avenues were crammed with people heading uptown, away from WTC.

Q: How did life in the United States and your life in particular change after
September 11?

A: People in New York have generally become tenser. There are some trends of xenophobia, however, I hope that as time passes they will subside. Personally I realized that at this stage of development humanity is most vulnerable to its own anger and frustrations.

IAN SOUTAR: THE WORLD CANNOT TURN A BLIND EYE TO TERRORISM

H.E. Ian Soutar, UK ambassador to Bulgaria

Q: In what way has the world changed after the terror act in NYC?

A: The attacks have galvanized the international community into action against terrorism in an unprecedented way.

Q: Can the world manage with terrorism?

A: The world cannot turn a blind eye to terrorism or the causes of terrorism.

STEN ASK: TODAY ALL MY THOUGHTS GO TO THE VICTIMS OF SEPTEMBER 11

H.E. Sten Ask, Sweden's Ambassador to Bulgaria

Q: In what way has the world changed after the terror act in NYC?

A: I think the terrorist attacks of September 11 showed that the way how the traditional narrow national interest can be protected and defended has changed its character in the era of globalisation. Globalisation brings mutual gains among the states but also mutual vulnerability. The Swedish self interest overlaps to a very large extent with the common security interest of all democracies. This increases the need to understand and respect different cultures. International co-operation has to be strengthened in all fields. Sweden strongly emphasise the crucial role of UN in this process.

Q: Which of the actions of the United States, related to the 11th Sept assaults do you approve?
Are there any mistakes brewing in U.S. concerning this issue and if yes, how could they be avoided?

A: Let us not lose ourselves into speculations or theoretical scenarios. Sweden and all democracies expressed their sympathy to USA after the attacks and its legitimate right to counter the terrorist deeds. However, the battle against terrorism is not a question only for USA but for the world community as a whole. The UN plays a pivotal role in these efforts to which Sweden actively wishes to contribute.

Today, however all my thoughts go to the victims of September 11 and their families.

JULIA WATKINS: TERRIBLE AND UNDENIABLE INSULT TO ALL OF HUMANITY

Mrs Watkins, President of the American University in Bulgaria

Q: Where were you on September 11th last year? What are your most vivid memories from that day?

A: I was at work in my office in Blagoevgrad. I remember watching the television in the office of our security director and seeing the second plane crash into the tower. I remember the disbelief with which I watched the event unfold. I also remember vividly the concern of our Bulgarian friends (Rotary Executive Committee) at a local restaurant, offering us a place to stay for the night, walking us home, comfort and sympathy etc.

Q: Do you fear new attacks?

A: I do believe there will be additional attacks, worldwide. I do not, however, live in fear of them as that would be capitulation to the horrors of terror.

MARTA RUEDAS: THE WHOLE PLACE RESEMBLED AN OVERTURNED ANTHILL

Ms Ruedas, resident representative of UNDP-Bulgaria

Q: Where were you on September 11th last year? What are your most vivid memories from that day?

A: I was in my previous posting in Sao Tome. Apart from the vivid pictures of the event itself, which were transmitted across the world, what I most remember is how people starting going from place to place with the information and the need to discuss it, so that the whole place
resembled an overturned anthill.

Q: Are there three words, with which you could describe the September 11th assaults?

A: Pivotal; unreal; dramatic.

FRANKLIN STEWARD: SEPTEMBER 11 ATTACKS WERE COWARD ACT OF CALLOUS NATURE

Mr. Steward, English language teacher at Sofia English language school

Q: Against whom were the attacks of September 11 directed - the western world or the United States?

A: Considering that the attacks were the act of a man rejected by both his family and his nation, I think that in his case, it's an act of megalomania. However, since he comes from a country that is controlled by a Sunni Islamic sect that sponsors extreme and very anti-western views there is no wonder that he was able to recruit other lunatic fringe types. As well, he had little trouble recruiting other loose canons from other extreme backgrounds. Therefore the problem is much greater than the real target in the sick minds of those who join such groups.

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