Mothers Aicha el-Wafi and Phyllis Rodriguez discuss the power of forgiveness and mutual respect in the 9/11 talk. El-Wafi and Rodriguez have an unusual friendship, where they became friends through tragic losses in their lives. The new found friendship that derived from tragic loss, eventually became a symbol for forgiveness and mutual respect for each other.
Rodriguez tells the story of her son's death during the World Trade Center attacks on September 11 of 2001. A couple weeks later, El-Wafi's son Zacarias Moussaoui, was indicted on six counts of conspiracy to commit terrorism and the US called for a death penalty, if convicted.
Eventually, in 2002, the two women were brought together through the help of the Organization of Human Rights. Rodriguez tells the audience that her and Aicha’s suffering was actually equal to hers. From Rodriguez’ point of view, when people heard that her son was a victim in the 9/11 attacks, everyone sympathized. But when Aicha’s son was accused, no one sympathized.
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