The actor on how New Yorkers rebuild what was lost
I think those of us who have lived and worked in downtown New York in 2001 felt the effects of attacks on the World Trade Center more directly. Are still being felt today. Ground Zero is our neighborhood, we were surrounded by the devastation in the wake of 9/11.
That day, I remember I was in a meeting and about to go to the airport for a flight to Los Angeles when my son Rafael called me to tell me that a plane had hit the World Trade Center. I immediately went home. From my apartment, I could see the towers, about nine blocks. I watched with binoculars flames and smoke billowed from buildings. When the south tower collapsed, the news was on and I had to move away from the window on the TV to confirm what I saw with my own eyes, it was surreal. Then the north tower fell. Seeing this happen is beyond belief.
have not lost a friend or relative when the towers fell, but after the attacks, I had done all that is fighting for, do not make sense, all s' is stopped. I think 9/11 significantly affected all New Yorkers, somehow. A disaster brings out the best in people. I think of all the firefighters, police and citizens who responded. Many of them died heroically. It's human nature to react, to try to end what he did and help them.From the beginning, the festival has taken on a life of its own. Mayor Bloomberg, who succeeded Giuliani and Governor Pataki has been very helpful. But he was never able to party without the thousands of volunteers. Unlike many other festivals, this time it is about community and family: a neighborhood any film festival. I am particularly proud of everyone drives to the party: family street fair, open projections on the docks and all events that use local businesses, restaurants in the city of Manhattan Community College - not to mention all films. We wanted to help and we hope we succeeded. After the first festival we never thought would come to the second, but now 10 years later, we are here. It's a tradition. The festival has become a part of the cultural life of the city, which is extremely satisfying.
Some people think that the pace of recovery of the city has been slow, especially at Ground Zero in New York, but has many moving parts and interests working against each other. You may need 10 years to 9.11 in the type of perspective that helps to rebuild the city on track. People came to the party around the world. One was Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, daughter of the Emir of Qatar. I wanted to help create a homecoming festival in Doha. We believe the Doha festival was a good idea, and gave us the opportunity to interact with a community in the Middle East. This partnership is a step in the right direction to help raise awareness. Finally, we may have our differences, stereotypical attitudes, even towards each other, but once we are aware, we realize that we are not different from each other.
This article was published in The New York Times
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