Posts tagged with "Afghanistan"

Vaughn Lowery of 360 MAGAZINE drops by world trade center on 9/11 in nyc.

MuddHouse Media-Top of the World

MuddHouse Media launches “Top of the World” podcast highlighting the people and stories behind the historic rebuilding of the World Trade Center 1-part series features WTC developer Larry Silverstein, WTC Master Planner Daniel Libeskind, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and others

MuddHouse Media announced today the official launch of Top of the World: Lessons from Rebuilding the World Trade Center, an 11-part podcast series featuring the people at the heart of the historic rebuilding of the new World Trade Center. The special programming premiered exclusively this summer on SiriusXM, and is now available on all major podcast streaming platforms.

Each episode of Top of the World explores the rebuilding through the eyes of those at the center of the action. These individuals share lessons learned from the recovery after 9/11, the challenges Downtown Manhattan has faced throughout the last two decades, and the insights they’ve gathered about how the city and the country can better recover and rebuild after the pandemic.

Among the major figures featured throughout the series are World Trade Center developer Larry Silverstein; former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg; WTC Master Planner Daniel Libeskind; National 9/11 Memorial architect Michael Arad; the architects and engineers behind the new World Trade Center office towers; Downtown Manhattan business and community leaders; the artists, filmmakers and photographers who have captured and documented the historic rebuilding effort; and many more.

“Rebuilding the World Trade Center has been — and continues to be — the passion of my life,” said Larry A. Silverstein, Chairman, Silverstein Properties. “As we approached the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, it was important to reflect on our collective mission to restore, revitalize, and re-invent Downtown Manhattan, and examine how the lessons we learned can inform our response to the devastation wrought by the tragedy of the pandemic.”

The Top of the World podcast is hosted by Silverstein’s head of marketing Dara McQuillan, and is available on all major podcast streaming platforms, including Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora, Stitcher, Radio.com, and more. The special series was created in collaboration with Silverstein Properties and MuddHouse Media. Click here to watch a trailer, see photos, and find out more details about the new special.

For additional information regarding The Top of the World, please visit here.

Kaelen Felix illustrates Twin Towers for 360 Magazine

How Has 9/11 Changed America?

September 11, 2001 will forever remain etched in the memories of Americans. Almost 3,000 innocent lives were lost during the deadly 9/11 terror attack. No one saw it coming until two planes hijacked by terrorists crashed into New York’s World Trade Center.

Terrorists aboard a third plane hovered around the Pentagon while the fourth crashed in Pennsylvania. And this was the beginning of significant changes in America’s history. Nearly everything changed in a bid to make America safe. Below are several things that changed after the terrorist attack.

Start Of War On Terror

The 9/11 terrorist attack on U.S. soil marked the beginning of America’s war on terror. Before then, American troops were home. But a month after the attack, American troops were deployed to Afghanistan. Their main objective was reining in al-Qaeda militia – an outlawed terror group – behind the terrorist attack in the U.S.

In an address to Congress nine days after the attack, declared a global war on terror.

“Our war on terror begins with al Qaeda, but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped, and defeated,” Bush’s resolute stand read.

The U.S. troops sustained a long war in dismantling the Taliban government supporting al-Qaeda. It is the most protracted military campaign in the annals of U.S. history. And it didn’t end here. Military troops from the U.S. in 2003 invaded Iraq intending to dethrone Saddam Hussein. Hussein was the leader at the time and was producing weapons for the Taliban forces.

Twenty years later, about 8,000 US troops are still in Afghanistan, taming the Taliban insurgency.

Health Complications

Residents of lower Manhattan in New York reported increasing cases of Ground Zero respiratory diseases five months after the terror attack. Some of the 9/11 related illnesses came as a result of pulverization. When the World Trade Center collapsed, all materials in the building became fine dust spreading all over Manhattan.

The World Trade Center Health Program certifies that there are more cases of respiratory diseases since the attack in the area. Further, other ailments certified by the program include asthma, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, cancer, depression, rhinosinusitis, and sleep apnea.

Onset Of Deportations

The Department of Homeland Security didn’t exist before September 11, 2001. President Bush formed it in 2002, working closely with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Deportations rose exponentially during Barack Obama’s administration, having the highest numbers. Between 2009 and 2010, nearly 400,000 people were deported.

Between 1999 and 2001, there were at least 200,000 annual deportations. But they doubled after the 9/11 terror attack.

Airport Security More Elaborate

In 2001, you would wander around the airport in the U.S. without much fuss. Today, you need a ticket to do this. And proper scrutiny of your passenger I.D. is undertaken before boarding a flight. A thorough body check happens today, and you must remove your shoes and your belt. Back then, none of this happened. Security is now elaborate – nothing is ignored. Not even the vaguest intelligence report.

Anti-Muslim Bias

Between 2015 and 2016, FBI data indicates 91 cases of assault stemming from anti-Muslim bias. In contrast to 2001, after the 9/11 attack, this number grew. Americans perceive Islam as a religion advocating for war. Religious discrimination is still a thing in America. The profiling of Muslims continues amid efforts to change the narrative that they are peace-loving.

The aftermath of the 9/11 terror attack in the U.S. in 2001 has a good and an ugly side. In terms of safety, it is a plus for the people. More elaborate security systems are in place today. But America is still in the war two decades later; this is a sad reminder of the aftereffect of the most significant terror attack in the land.

Treatment of Afghan Interpreters

Approximately one month, the Director of Faith Matters, Fiyaz Mughal, highlighted the plight of Afghan Interpreter, Mohammed Nabi, and how he was sleeping rough on the streets of Athens. Nabi’s case was initially documented and he was assisted by Jess Webster, who works with refugees in Greece.

Having heard of the case, the petition by the Director of Faith Matters, has now reached over 116,000 signatories within 5 weeks. It is now being backed by the Sun on Sunday and has also been highlighted by the Daily Mail and the Metro. Yet, the Government have made no headway in addressing this issue. There is therefore a groundswell of public opinion backing Nabi’s case, yet the politicians refuse to even acknowledge this case.

Mohammed Nabi worked for ISAF and British forces in Afghanistan between 2008-2011. He has received numerous commendations for his work with British Forces such as from the 1st Battalion of the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment. He was instrumental in interpreting Taliban commands in real time when in the field with British soldiers and thereby he was key to tracking Taliban troop movements and attack points against British soldiers.

Speaking to Mughal in Athens he said that:
“My role was to work with commanding officers and I was the bridge between Afghan forces and British commanding officers. When officers from the British army went to speak to village elders, I was with them. There was an unwritten command that Taliban leaders gave to their forces to kill Afghan Interpreters first so that British and ISAF forces would be blind in the field. I was at risk of suicide bombers in such situations in villages as they tried to target British commanding officers and their interpreters”.

Nabi left working with the British armed forces after 1 year, (in 2009), because of threats from senior Afghan commanders made against his family and against him. He rejoined ISAF and British forces within 3 months of leaving since his skills were suited to armed forces work and he could not find other work and served again as an Afghan interpreter until 2011.

In 2016, an attempted kidnap against him failed and ‘night knocks’ against his front door raised threat levels against him and he fled on foot through Iran and into Turkey where he lounged for 18 months with no assistance from aid agencies who were assisting families. They were therefore not focused on assisting young single men.

Repeated attempts to highlight his case and the threat to his four children and wife failed in Turkey and he was left destitute and penniless, where he took up shepherding for basic subsistence. Each month though, saw the Taliban makes gains and come closer to his village and Nabi said that the policy of the Taliban to the children of people who assisted ISAF forces was to call them ‘sons of snakes, who were snakes themselves’. In other words, the children of Afghan interpreters were at serious of attack.

In 2016, to highlight his case he left Turkey and ended up being arrested in Greece and jailed. He was eventually released and claimed asylum though ended up penniless sleeping on a park bench in Athens where the Director of Faith Matters met up with him.

Speaking about the plight of Afghan Interpreters and in particular Nabi’s case, Fiyaz Mughal OBE, who developed the petition and who worked with the Sun on Sunday to highlight his case, said:

“Nabi has been denied entry into the UK and given no assistance when he approached UK Government agencies. How can this be right when he saw Afghan colleagues die in battle and Nabi was there saving British lives by interpreting Taliban commands whilst rounds went over his head. The only possessions he has are the plastic-coated commendations from officers because of his work in the field. It is disgusting the way that this man has been treated.

“The treatment of Afghan interpreters is a national disgrace and what the petition and the support from national newspapers shows is that the public care, whilst politicians have shown little courage in addressing this matter. I believe that anyone who has served more than a year in Afghanistan supporting our armed forces and who can show that their lives are in danger because of their work, must be let in. We relied on them to keep our armed forces safe, and now they need our help. This national disgrace must end and I will keep speaking out”.

Letters Live

Star-studded British show announces the first wave of talent for its American debut.

Jake Gyllenhaal, Jarvis Cocker, James Corden, Minnie Driver, Stephen Fry, Mark Hamill, Anjelica Huston, Catherine Keener, Shirley Manson, Ian McShane, and Annabelle Wallis all confirmed for ‘LETTERS LIVE’ line-up in its US premiere with more guests to be announced.

LETTERS LIVE, in partnership with NET-A-PORTER and MR PORTER, is delighted to announce the first wave of performers for its first ever public performance in the United States on February 26th 2018, at the historic Theatre at Ace Hotel in Los Angeles, from 8pm PST.

LETTERS LIVE celebrates the enduring power of literary correspondence by inviting brilliant entertainers to perform remarkable and unforgettable letters to a live audience.

“Hear the best letters in the world read by the best voices” – The Observer

Past LETTERS LIVE shows have included letters written by the likes of David Bowie, Mohandas Gandhi, Maya Angelou, Elvis Presley, Janis Joplin, Kurt Vonnegut, Charlotte Bronte, Tom Hanks, Katherine Hepburn, Richard Burton, Patti Smith, Abraham Lincoln, James Baldwin, and Che Guevara, performed by an array of talent including Benedict Cumberbatch, Gillian Anderson, Ian McKellen, Kylie Minogue, Russell Brand, Thandie Newton, Riz Ahmed, Juliet Stevenson, LeVar Burton, Tom Hiddleston, Sally Hawkins, JJ Abrams, Noma Dumezweni, Oscar Isaac, Jude Law, Nick Cave and Sir Ben Kingsley.

To view a teaser video for the 26 February, click here.

As LETTERS LIVE producer and performer Benedict Cumberbatch writes “Letters Live makes us pause and imagine the lives behind the letters read and the circumstances of their origin. The relationship between the audience, reader and writer on a Letters Live night helps deepen our understanding of these inspiring artefacts of the human condition. They are windows into the love, beauty, pain, and humor of their creators and recipients. It’s a privilege to read this most ancient form of communication to a live audience.”

The February 26th performance of LETTERS LIVE in Los Angeles will be presented in partnership with NET-A-PORTER and MR PORTER. The event will be held in the historic Theatre at Ace Hotel in the downtown neighborhood of Los Angeles, from 8pm – 9:30pm PST.

Tickets for the 26 February LETTERS LIVE performance are available for purchase here.

Ticket prices range from $50 to $200 with all the profits from ticket sales being donated to the two partner charities for the night, 826LA, and Women for Women International.

About LETTERS LIVE

LETTERS LIVE first took place in December 2013 at the Tabernacle in London and quickly established itself as a powerful and dynamic event format that attracted outstanding talents to performing remarkable letters in front of a live audience.

Inspired by Shaun Usher’s international best-selling Letters of Note series and Simon Garfield’s To the Letter, LETTERS LIVE is a live celebration of the enduring power of literary correspondence. Each show always features a completely different array of great performers, reading remarkable letters written over the centuries and from around the world. One of the joys of Letters Live is that one never knows who is going to take to the stage or what letter they are going to bring alive.

The independent publishing house Canongate, who created and developed LETTERS LIVE, subsequently partnered with the film and television production company SunnyMarch to build Letters Live into an even more far-reaching and ambitious project. Their shared vision is to harness the power of letters through curated events of exceptional quality and to develop a multi-media platform that delivers the most memorable letters to people all around the world.

As well as celebrating the pain, joy, wisdom and humour expressed in letters, LETTERS LIVE has from the outset been committed to promoting literacy and to fund-raising for literacy charities. This remains an important part of its activities both in the UK and abroad.

About 826LA

826LA is a non-profit organization with centers in Echo Park and Mar Vista, a Writers’ Room at

Manual Arts High School in South LA, and relationships with Los Angeles public schools. 826LA’s mission is to support students ages six to eighteen with their creative and expository writing skills, and to help teachers inspire their students to write. Since 2005, 826LA has served 65,000+ students. 826LA’s free programs target economically disadvantaged students.

About Women for Women International


With over twenty brutal armed conflicts across the globe and unprecedented levels of violence against women, there’s never been a greater need to support women survivors of war.
Through Women for Women International’s 12-month programme, women learn about their rights, as well as key life, vocational and business skills to access livelihoods and break free from poverty.
Since 1993, Women for Women International has supported over 462,000 women in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kosovo, the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, Nigeria, Rwanda and South Sudan. They also engage men in their work, to break down prejudices and practices which prevent women from reaching their full potential. To find out more visit: www.womenforwomen.org.uk