Our Duty on 9/11

By: Sana Rahim, MedShare’s Faiths Act Fellow

Sana Rahim (L) and Clint Fluker, MedShare's Faiths Act Fellows, leading a volunteer sort session

When I asked Emory students to tell me the first word that comes to mind when they think of 9/11, Rami Tabba responded with “duty.”

Amidst the tragedy and destruction that September 11, 2011 wreaked in the United States, it also called upon ordinary citizens to become life-saving heroes. Rami reflected on how thousands of Americans went above and beyond the call of duty to serve their fellow citizens.

It was a similar sense of duty that drew 45 students from Emory University to sort medical supplies at MedShare on the 10th anniversary of September 11th. After a tour and orientation at the MedShare facility, students sorted 1,032 pounds and packaged 74 boxes of medical supplies and equipment. These boxes could be sent to hospitals in Kenya, Paraguay, or Bangladesh- some of the countries in the upcoming shipment schedule.

After the sorting session, students were asked to reflect on ideas of unity and overcoming difference. They candidly discussed how communities came together and, how certain communities faced alienation and discrimination after 9/11.

When the students were asked why they had chosen to serve on 9/11, the response was almost universal. It was simply the right thing to do according to the students. Many reflected that serving on 9/11 together endowed them with a powerful sense of community. As a local group in Atlanta, they had come together to make a global impact.

The Emory students that came together at MedShare that day represented multiple narratives; different faith backgrounds, cultural histories, and personal ambitions. On a day that often brings back memories of violence, hate, and division, they came together in solidarity to help create a more just and equitable world.

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As a Faiths Act Fellows at MedShare, I hope to continue to work with new communities at MedShare for days of service and reflection. If you are interested in organizing an interfaith sorting session, or any other activity, please reach out to me at srahim@medshare.org or my partner Clint Fluker at cfluker@medshare.org

You can read more about the Faiths Act Fellowship at www.faithsactfellows.org.

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