September 17, 2001
Tragedy summons both charity and fear
Last weeks terrorist attacks brought out both the best of the Emory
communitys compassion and the worst of its fears, as students and
staff on the one hand worked to put together blood drives to aid the victims
and on the other worried about a possible negative backlash against certain
ethnic and/or religious groups.
Blood donors must wait 56 days between donations, so even if people were
unable to donate Friday, they will still be needed throughout the rest
of September and October. Follow-ing is a list of blood drives planned
in the Emory and Atlanta area:
Sept. 18, Decatur YMCA, 1100 Clairemont Ave., 38 p.m.
Sept. 19, Agnes Scott
College, 141 E. College Ave., Decatur, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (SGA
will run shuttles every 45 minutes from the P.E. Center and asks that
people show early to account for heavy demand).
Sept. 25, Crawford
Long, noon to 5 p.m.
Sept. 27, P.E. Center,
noon to 5 p.m.
Sept. 28, Yerkes,
8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
For more information, contact the Metropolitan Atlanta Chapter of the
Red Cross at 404-876-3302.
Meanwhile, as students were demonstrating their patriotic sense of altruism,
many of those same students were fearing a possible backlash against Muslims
and people of Middle Eastern descent. As of Thursday afternoon, several
incidents of racial and ethnic intolerance had been reported around the
country, thankfully none on the Emory campus.
At the interfaith service held at 5 p.m. in Glenn Auditorium the day
of the attacks, one of the overriding messages was that of unity. President
Bill Chace and Dean of the Chapel and Religious Life Susan Henry-Crowe
urged the University community to eschew divisiveness and stereotypes
and cling to common threads of humanity. Many on campus believe that message
will be received.
Im assuring people that I have confidence in the community
in which we live and its ability to deal with this and stay away from
the backlash thats taking place in other parts of the country,
said Mahmoud Al-Batal, associate professor of Middle Eastern studies and
advisor to the Muslim Student Association and the Arab Students Cultural
Al-Batal, also director of the Emory College Language Center, was speaking
the language of reassurance and calm to the students in his charge. He
urged them to participate in all the activities on campus such as candlelight
vigils, blood drives, etc.
These are American citizens, and they are struck by the tragedy
like every other American student, Al-Batal said. Im
sure some of them have relatives or friends who are missing in the World
Trade Center or the Pentagon, and so the tragedy has affected them the
same way it has affected any other American.
Asim Malik, a sophomore philosophy and Middle Eastern studies major and
a member of the Muslim Student Association, said it is not for himself
he fears. Im more worried about the freshmen, said Malik,
a sophomore advisor for Residence Life. They get to college for
the first time, and two weeks into it they have to deal with this. In
particular, we have some foreign students who are new to the country,
and Im a little concerned about their well being.
Malik said, other than relatively minor insensitive comments, he has not heard of any incidents of intolerance at Emory and hopes things stay that way. We wanted to do a candlelight vigil [like the one held Sept. 12], but the SGA beat us to it, he said. We helped out as much as we could.