11th September 2011

9/11 ten years on. For one French woman today has especial meaning. Dening Lohez had been married just 3 months when she heard the fatal news that her new husband Jerome had perished, one of the 4 Frenchmen working in the twin towers of Manhattan. Since then she's visited several Arab countries in an effort to try to understand why they committed such an atrocity, and has since started the Jerome Lohez foundation in her husband's memory, helping young people.
I was amazed to see how this French woman, who must have been devastated, still managed to stay focused enough to travel to the Middle East to see and talk to ordinary Arab citizens.  It's clear that understanding is the key to resolving the enormous differences between West and East. Of course, in the pre-IT era, people only worried about problems near to home. Now, with the vast global network, we're daily confronted by scenes of people living completely different lives. How terrible for people suffering from perhaps malnutrition, drought, and the daily drudgery of making enough money to eat, to see people in the West living lives of apparent luxury. 
If I'd been Mayor of NY, I don't think I'd have used those millions of dollars to build that Freedom Tower. A more fitting memorial would have been to use that finance to redress some of the balance between East and West - maybe then we could hope that such a terrible thing borne of conceived injustice could never happen again.

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