Afghan Refugee Processing Center, Pakistan, October 2001
I took this photograph less than a month after September 11, 2001. I looked at this rock wall, and this distant gaze peered back at me.
Despite being physically close the remote expression on the Afghan boy’s face made me feel like he was a thousand miles away. He seems underwater: trapped, distant, swallowed up by the aftermath of September 11th.
The victims of the September 11th tragedy were not just the people who died in the World Trade center and Pentagon buildings, in the planes, or in the aftermath, but also people like this boy. The post-September 11th world has shrunk in so many ways that “their” problems and “our” problems have become everyone’s problems. Caring about the welfare of people on the other side of the planet is not only good and noble. It’s now in our own self-interest. Be selfish, go help someone.