The UAE newspapers widely commemorated the 10-year anniversary of the terror attacks on the US which occurred on 11 September 2001.
The front page of The National on Sunday carries an image of two Black American women sobbing just moments before the South Tower of World Trade Centre collapsed. The image was snapped by Thomas Dallal, a freelance photographer who was in New York on that fateful day. Gulf News, on the other hand, published images of Bush, WTC on fire and Osama bin Laden, side by side, with a simple headline: “Is the world any safer?”. Khaleej Times published a statement of US President Barack Obama declaring US stronger 10 years after Sept. 11 attacks with a photograph that shows him hugging a visitor at the Arlington Memorial Cemetery in Washington DC.
The National also published a first person account of Thomas Dallal titled “Whatever you do, don’t go there” in which he contrasts his experiences on 9/11 with a 1995 suicide bomb blast in Gaza.
The National reported an agreement on Syria reforms with Arab League rejecting foreign interference. Gulf News also talks of an agreement of Arab League with the Baathist regime while also mentioning the killing of 6 more Syrian protestors in the country. Khaleej Times mentions similar developments in its report and included a photograph of Lebanese protesters in Tripoli shouting slogans against the Assad Regime.
The UAE newspapers unanimously reported the attacks on the Israeli embassy in Cairo and the state of high alert declared by the security forces in the country. Gulf News published an image of a protestor nabbed by riot police near the embassy while quoting US President Barack Obama urging Egypt to ?honour its international obligations? and protect the Israeli mission. The National suggests the country faces a threat of emergency law following the ransacking of the Jewish diplomatic mission.
The editorial of Khaleej Times laments the way flying has radically changed since the fateful events of 9/11 with airlines using security measures such as sky marshals to reinforced doors to even colour codes for passengers and biometric checks. And the bad thing, it says, is the racial dimension and stereotypes to it.
‘War on terror’ was a distraction, declared Gulf News in its editorial insisting Washington has still not been able to broker a just Middle East peace as promised. It added that instead of brokering a fair peace deal, the US continued to provide blind support to Israel which led to destructive war in 2008-2009 and further construction of illegal settler colonies in the Occupied West Bank. The newspaper warned that without progress in Palestine and other parts of the region where the US is involved, violence will continue, an implicit indication that further 9/11-like events cannot be ruled out.
The National, in its editorial, hails the solutions put forward by the Gulf states to counter a 9/11 style threat and eradicate extremism. The article mentions the challenges Gulf monarchies are facing and the measures taken by the rulers to extend opportunities by encouraging economic development, education, interfaith dialogue and a sense of religious tolerance.
By Moign Khawaja ~ Editor – Arabian Gazette