Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home


Effects of terrorism through a teenager's eyes

"Terrorism”. This small nine-letter word is probably one of the most fearful and most commonly used words in today's world. Firstly to start with, what is terrorism? In the dictionary, terrorism is defined as a means to spread terror, and the 21st century can definitely be named after it. We have already witnessed so many dreadful events that have taken place, two bloody wars have been fought and to make matters worse we are in midst of another one. Indeed, history is beginning to repeat itself. However, my article today isn't concerned about taking any specific side in the war nor is it about playing a blame game; neither do I want to inform my already informed readers about the different strategies behind the attacks. Millions of more intelligent writers must have already declared their opinions and thoughts on the above issue. My article is mainly concerned about how the suicide bombers or the so-called wars to end terrorism have affected or influenced a normal teenager's life.

Life of a teenager has definitely been affected due to suicide bombings and other related activities. Some of them tend to be more alert and cautious with every person that they meet, some made it a point to hate a particular group of people and some teenagers have lost close friends due to the above issues.

According to 19-year-old Yazdan Hoque, who used to study in Hong Kong and currently, studies in the United States, the teenagers of today have managed to realize the value of life as individuals, something that the previous generations might not have been able to do. He further said that he had an Israeli roommate and also had Palestinian friends at school. And so the ongoing Israel Palestine conflict was not a problem for most of his friends over there. He also mentioned that one of his close friends, in Gaza has been missing for weeks, which really troubles him. There are probably many more teenagers in this world, who have lost a friend, a family member or a loved one. This is one of the vital ways as to how these wars and bombings really affect the teenagers.

17-year-old Piranaven, a French born Sri Lankan currently living in England, also shared his views. He says that the teenagers there are much more alert and more cautious after the train bombings. Other than that, he shares the same views as Yazdan, saying that there isn't much of a tension between his friends on the above issues. He also adds that the only time there was high tension between people over there was right after the train bombings. That feeling however did subside in due time.

18-year-old Manisha Ahmed, a Bangladeshi, born and brought up in Canada had a number of stories to tell. She said that it was difficult for teenagers having a last name that was related to any of the terrorists to survive over there. For instance, getting a good parttime job for teenagers having a brown skin or a suspicious last name was really difficult. She also admitted being called a terrorist, but that kind of a thing has become really common there and teenagers like her take it as a joke and continue a friendly relationship with everyone. In spite of all that she says that she isn't treated differently amongst her friends and does lead a normal and an enjoyable life.

These were just a few teenagers who expressed their views about how these on going wars and bombings have affected their lives and I am sure that there are many more of them out there, who really want to express their own opinions on this issue.

The teenage is supposed to be a period where one explores the beauty of life, where one gets a chance to learn many new different things in order to be successful in the future. It's a time when one wants to enjoy life and its getting hard to do that because of these blasts and battles. It's sad to see teenagers being trained and brought up in order to be recruited for suicidal bombings and it's again sad to notice some of the teenagers condemning a particular group as their enemy due to a false influence. All this is of course nothing but a wrong mentality, which definitely needs to be corrected.

Looking at the brighter side though, most of my friends and other teenagers I have spoken to, tell me that they have no problems intermingling with teenagers belonging to an Arab background or any other. After all they are all human beings. It's the international leaders that have a problem. As long as these wars don't come to a halt, these types of dreadful attacks will continue. Many more lives will be lost and more number of teenagers will be influenced the wrong way. But alas! These international leaders have their own ways of stopping terrorism, which indirectly is taking the lives of a number of innocent people. It's a pity, to watch these so-called leaders act like babies when they should be acting like grown up men.

By Naimul Karim

Book review
Sea Swept

Once in a while, I get completely fed up of those oh so sappy romances, with their two-bit characters and superficial storylines. That's when I turn to storytellers like Mary Stewart, who restore my faith in the genre. Not too long ago, I had an opportunity to start on a series by Nora Roberts, called the 'Chesapeake Trilogy', although ultimately there was a fourth and final book. This review's based on the first book.

A little bit about the backdrop of the series. Raymond Quinn, a university professor, and his wife Stella, who is a paediatrician, having no children of their own, adopted three boys right off the streets and made them part of a warm, loving family. A couple of decades later, Stella is long gone, and the three boys Cameron, Phillip and Ethan have all grown up to three very different young men, bound together by their unshakeable faith in and love for their 'father', Raymond Quinn.

Now Sea Swept starts with Raymond Quinn on his deathbed, and the three Quinn brothers rushing in from different ends of the country to be there for him. He drops the bomb on them by announcing there's a new Quinn in the family, apparently one of Ray's latest 'finds', a little boy called Seth. His dying wish was that the older Quinns would take care of their new brother. As if it wasn't difficult enough to cope with their father's death, and try to rearrange their set-in-cement lifestyles, with Ray six feet under, the rumours come out to play. It gets whispered that Seth is actually Ray's illegitimate lovechild.

What does this have to do with romance you ask? Well, with Seth's adoption still incomplete, Social Services is interested in the kid, and sends the hot and single Anna Spinelli to investigate the Quinn household's suitability for Seth, and sparks begin to fly between her and Cameron.

Remember what I said about predictable plots and why this isn't like that? Well, the focus of the story isn't on the romance between Cam and Anna; it's actually on how the four brothers adjust to one another. It has elements of Phillip's story, and Ethan's story, and rumours and intrigues surrounding the circumstances of Ray's death, so that the novel becomes complex and multi-faceted and oh so readable.
I can't wait to get my hands on the next book in the series!

By Sabrina F Ahmad

The bermuda blow

"Are you sure about this?” said Moushumi's father to her as they boarded the ship.

Moushumi felt disappointed at her father's query but managed to keep a uncompromising countenance.

“I mean a lot of ships don't come back from the Bermuda Triangle and there are other ways to get to Puerto Rico from Miami like airlines and we could get to your mother quicker a-a-and it's Friday the 13th for Gods' sake!” He continued with an anxious look on his, beads of sweat gathering on his forehead.

“Oh dad! You and your superstitions,” exclaimed Moushumi, getting impatient. “After all it's just six hours, what could possibly happen?”

Her father decided not to pursue the matter any further and the two of them finally boarded the ship.

Moushumi was a stubborn adventure-loving young woman who had just turned 19. Her father who was just the opposite had made the mistake of promising her any adventure she wanted for her 19th birthday. Moushumi who did not forget promises too easily had hung on to his words and made sure they were executed. Abrar Ahmed, her father, a very superstitious man, was contemplating retirement and never really liked to travel, especially on dates like Friday the 13th and that too through the limbo of the lost.

It had been almost two weeks that they were in Miami. Moushumi decided that she and her father needed a break from Puerto Rico. And so, they came to Miami Beach. Meanwhile, on the ship Mr Ahmed observed his surroundings and resumed their conversation, “You know what Moushumi, I think you're right. The sky is clear and cloudless. The sea is calm and nothing can go wrong.

Two hours had passed since the passengers had boarded the ship. It was exactly 1:30PM. The S.S. Armada cut through the blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Moushumi was standing at the front part of the ship, leaning on the steel railings and admiring the beauty of the scenery before her. Suddenly her mouth fell open in astonishment. She looked around her to see if other people on the ship had noticed what was happening to the surface of the water. It seemed like they had see it too. “This is not a hallucination,” thought Moushumi. She should have listened to her father.

Meanwhile, Mr Ahmed had seemed to notice that something was going on. Everyone seemed to be drawn towards the front of the ship and he decided to go and see what it was. He found his daughter there and as he called her to inquire what was going on, he realised he needed no explanation.

Father and daughter stood in stone-cold silence along with everyone else on the ship after realising what they were heading for - a vast triangular space in the middle of the ocean. The water seemed to descend into an opening like a waterfall and the ship was falling into it fast, very fast. Even turning the ship could not help now. Fear shone in everyone's eyes and there was only one thought running through their mind - the inevitable - closure!

By Samina Siddique


home | Issues | The Daily Star Home

2006 The Daily Star