Read the article titled ” To Any Would-Be Terrorists” by Naomi Shihab Nye in Chapter 9: The Age of Terror: What Is the Just Response? and answer the following question.
- Write a letter (one paragraph) to Naomi Shihab Nye in which you agree or disagree with the content of her essay. Make a strong argument and prove it with reasons. (doubled space, 12 font size, Times New Roman).
Read the article titled ” To Any Would-Be Terrorists” by Naomi Shihab Nye in Chapter 9: The Age of Terror: What Is the Just Response? and answer the following question. Write a letter (one paragraph
3/29/23, 1:49 PM Print Preview https://ng.cengage.com/static/nb/ui/evo/index.html?deploymentId=5702061901039166412732460708&eISBN=9781305664401&id=1737447819&sna … 1/6 Chapter 9: The Age of Terror: What Is the Just Response?: 9-4 Naomi Shihab Nye: T o Any Would-Be T errorists Book Title: The New W orld Reader: Thinking and W riting about the Global Community Printed By: Kalani Norman ([email protected]) © 2017 Cengage Learning, Cengage Learning 9-4 Naomi Shihab Nye: To Any W ould-Be T errorists Naomi Shihab Nye was born in 1952 in St. Louis, Missouri. Her family background is Palestinian American. She graduated from Trinity University (BA, 1974) and subsequently started a career as a freelance writer and editor . Today Nye is known for her award-winning poetry , fiction for children, novels, and essays. She has been a visiting writer at the University of Texas, the University of Hawaii, the University of California at Berkeley , and elsewhere. Among Nye’s books are the prize-winning poetry collection Different Ways to Pray (1980); several other poetry volumes, including Yellow Glove (1986), Fuel (1998), and You and Yours (2005), incorporating poems dealing with Palestinian life; a book of essays, Never in a Hurry (1996); and a young adult novel, Habibi (1997). Among her many awards are the Peter I. B. Lavin Younger Poets Award from the Academy of American Poets and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Starting with the provocative title of the following essay , Nye speaks as a Palestinian American to an extremist audience that needs to “find another way to live.” Before Reading If you had an opportunity to address a terrorist or terrorist group, what would you say, and how would you say it? 1 I am sorry I have to call you that, but I don’t know how else to get your attention. I hate that word. Do you know how hard some of us have worked to get rid of that word, to deny its instant connection to the Middle East? And now look. Look what extra work we have. 2 Not only did your colleagues kill thousands of innocent, international people in those buildings and scar their families forever; they wounded a huge community of people in the Middle East, in the United States and all over the world. If that’ s what they wanted to do, please know the mission was a terrible success, and you can stop now. 3 Because I feel a little closer to you than many Americans could possibly feel, or ever want to feel, I insist that you listen to me. Sit down and listen. I know what kinds of foods you like. I would feed them to you if you were right here, because it is very important that you listen. 3/29/23, 1:49 PM Print Preview https://ng.cengage.com/static/nb/ui/evo/index.html?deploymentId=5702061901039166412732460708&eISBN=9781305664401&id=1737447819&sna … 2/6 4 I am humble in my country’s pain and I am furious. 5 My Palestinian father became a refugee in 1948. He came to the United States as a college student. He is 74 years old now and still homesick. He has planted fig trees. He has invited all the Ethiopians in his neighborhood to fill their little paper sacks with his figs. He has written columns and stories saying the Arabs are not terrorists; he has worked all his life to defy that word. Arabs are businessmen and students and kind neighbors. There is no one like him and there are thousands like him—gentle Arab daddies who make everyone laugh around the dinner table, who have a hard time with headlines, who stand outside in the evenings with their hands in their pockets staring toward the far horizon. 6 I am sorry if you did not have a father like that. 7 I wish everyone could have a father like that. 8 My hard-working American mother has spent 50 years trying to convince her fellow teachers and choirmates not to believe stereotypes about the Middle East. She always told them, there is a much larger story . If you knew the story, you would not jump to conclusions from what you see in the news. But now look at the news. What a mess has been made. 9 Sometimes I wish everyone could have parents from dif ferent countries or ethnic groups so they would be forced to cross boundaries, to believe in mixtures, every day of their lives. Because this is what the world calls us to do. W AKE UP! 10 The Palestinian grocer in my Mexican-American neighborhood paints pictures of the Palestinian flag on his empty cartons. He paints trees and rivers. He gives his paintings away . He says, “Don’t insult me” when I try to pay him for a lemonade. Arabs have always been famous for their generosity . Remember? 11 My half-Arab brother with an Arabic name looks more like an Arab than many full- blooded Arabs do and he has to fly every week. 12 My Palestinian cousins in Texas have beautiful brown little boys. Many of them haven’t gone to school yet. And now they have this heavy word to carry in their backpacks along with the weight of their papers and books. I repeat, the mission was a terrible success. But it was also a complete, total tragedy , and I want you to think about a few things. 1. 13 Many people, thousands of people, perhaps even millions of people, in the United States are very aware of the long unfairness of our country’ s policies regarding Israel and Palestine. We talk about this all the time. It exhausts us and we keep talking. We write letters to newspapers, to politicians, to each other . We speak out in public even when it is uncomfortable to do so, because that is our 3/29/23, 1:49 PM Print Preview https://ng.cengage.com/static/nb/ui/evo/index.html?deploymentId=5702061901039166412732460708&eISBN=9781305664401&id=1737447819&sna … 3/6 responsibility. Many of these people aren’t even Arabs. Many happen to be Jews who are equally troubled by the inequity . I promise you this is true. Because I am Arab-American, people always express these views to me, and I am amazed how many understand the intricate situation and have strong, caring feelings for Arabs and Palestinians even when they don’t have to. Think of them, please: All those people who have been standing up for Arabs when they didn’t have to. 14 But as ordinary citizens we don’t run the government and don’t get to make all our government’s policies, which makes us sad sometimes. W e believe in the power of the word and we keep using it, even when it seems no one large enough is listening. That is one of the best things about this country: the free power of free words. Maybe we take it for granted too much. Many of the people killed in the World Trade Center probably believed in a free Palestine and were probably talking about it all the time. 15 But this tragedy could never help the Palestinians. Somehow , miraculously, if other people won’t help them more, they are going to have to help themselves. And it will be peace, not violence, that fixes things. You could ask any one of the kids in the Seeds of Peace organization and they would tell you that. Do you ever talk to kids? Please, please, talk to more kids. 2. 16 Have you noticed how many roads there are? Sure you have. You must check out maps and highways and small alternate routes just like anyone else. There is no way everyone on earth could travel on the same road, or believe in exactly the same religion. It would be too crowded: it would be dumb. I don’t believe you want us all to be Muslims. My Palestinian grandmother lived to be 106 years old and did not read or write, but even she was much smarter than that. The only place she ever went beyond Palestine and Jordan was to Mecca, by bus, and she was very proud to be called a Hajji and to wear white clothes afterwards. She worked very hard to get stains out of everyone’s dresses—scrubbing them with a stone. I think she would consider the recent tragedies a terrible stain on her religion and her whole part of the world. She would weep. She was scared of airplanes anyway . She wanted people to worship God in whatever ways they felt comfortable. Just worship. Just remember God in every single day and doing. It didn’t matter what they called it. When people asked her how she felt about the peace talks that were happening right before she died, she puffed up like a proud little bird and said, in Arabic, “I never lost my peace inside.” To her , Islam was a welcoming religion. After her home in Jerusalem was stolen from her, she lived in a small village that contained a Christian shrine. She felt very tender toward the people who would visit it. A Jewish professor tracked me down a few years ago in Jerusalem to tell me she changed his life after he went to her village to do an oral history project on Arabs. “Don’t think she only mattered to you!” he said. “She gave me a whole different reality to imagine 3/29/23, 1:49 PM Print Preview https://ng.cengage.com/static/nb/ui/evo/index.html?deploymentId=5702061901039166412732460708&eISBN=9781305664401&id=1737447819&sna … 4/6 —yet it was amazing how close we became. Arabs could never be just a ‘project’ after that.” 17 Did you have a grandmother? Mine never wanted people to be pushed around. What did yours want? 18 Reading about Islam since my grandmother died, I note the “tolerance” that was “typical of Islam” even in the old days. The Muslim leader Khalidibn al-Walid signed a Jerusalem treaty which declared, “in the name of God . . . you have complete security for your churches which shall not be occupied by the Muslims or destroyed.” 19 It is the new millennium in which we should be even smarter than we used to be, right? But I think we have fallen behind. 3. 20 Many Americans do not want to kill any more innocent people anywhere in the world. W e are extremely worried about military actions killing innocent people. W e didn’t like this in Iraq, we never liked it anywhere. We would like no more violence, from us as well as from you. We would like to stop the terrifying wheel of violence, just stop it, right on the road, and find something more creative to do to fix these huge problems we have. Violence is not creative, it is stupid and scary , and many of us hate all those terrible movies and TV shows made in our own country that try to pretend otherwise. Don’t watch them. Everyone should stop watching them. An appetite for explosive sounds and toppling buildings is not a healthy thing for anyone in any country. The USA should apologize to the whole world for sending this trash out into the air and for paying people to make it. 21 But here’ s something good you may not know—one of the best-selling books of poetry in the United States in recent years is the Coleman Barks translation of Rumi, a mystical Sufi poet of the 13th century , and Sufism is Islam and doesn’t that make you glad? 22 Everyone is talking about the suffering that ethnic Americans are going through. Many will no doubt go through more of it, but I would like to thank everyone who has sent me a condolence card. Americans are usually very kind people. Didn’t your colleagues find that out during their time living here? It is hard to imagine they missed it. How could they do what they did, knowing that? 4. 23 We will all die soon enough. Why not take the short time we have on this delicate planet and figure out some really interesting things we might do together? I promise you, God would be happier . So many people are always trying to speak for God—I know it is a very dangerous thing to do. I tried my whole life not to do it. But this one time is an exception. Because there are so many people crying and scared and 3/29/23, 1:49 PM Print Preview https://ng.cengage.com/static/nb/ui/evo/index.html?deploymentId=5702061901039166412732460708&eISBN=9781305664401&id=1737447819&sna … 5/6 confused and complicated and exhausted right now—it is as if we have all had a giant simultaneous breakdown. 24 I beg you, as your distant Arab cousin, as your American neighbor, listen to me. 25 Our hearts are broken: as yours may also feel broken in some ways, we can’t understand, unless you tell us in words. Killing people won’t tell us. W e can’t read that message. 26 Find another way to live. Don’t expect others to be like you. Read Rumi. Read Arabic poetry. Poetry humanizes us in a way that news, or even religion, has a harder time doing. A great Arab scholar , Dr. Salma Jayyusi, said, “If we read one another , we won’t kill one another .” Read American poetry . Plant mint. Find a friend who is so different from you, you can’t believe how much you have in common. Love them. Let them love you. Surprise people in gentle ways, as friends do. The rest of us will try harder too. Make our family proud. “To Any Would-Be T errorists” by Naomi Shihab Nye. Reprinted by permission of the author . Thinking about the Essay 1. How does Nye address her primary audience—“would-be terrorists”? What tone or voice does she employ? What are some of the words and phrases she uses to get their attention? Of course, Nye also writes for a broader audience of readers—us. How does she make her message appealing to this larger audience? 2. Nye presents an elaborate argument in this essay. What is her central claim? What reasons or minor propositions does she give in support of her claim? How do the events of 9/11 condition the nature of her argument? What types of appeal does she make to convince her audience to think, feel, and act differently? 3. Examine the introductory paragraphs—paragraphs 1–12. Why does Nye use a first-person (“I”) point of view? What is her purpose? What is the effect? 4. Analyze sections 1–4 of Nye’ s essay (paragraphs 13–26). What is the subject matter of each? How does the sequence of sections serve to advance the writer’s argument? What transitional techniques permit essay coherence and unity? 5. Why is Nye’ s last paragraph a fitting conclusion to the essay? What elements from the body of the essay does this concluding paragraph 3/29/23, 1:49 PM Print Preview https://ng.cengage.com/static/nb/ui/evo/index.html?deploymentId=5702061901039166412732460708&eISBN=9781305664401&id=1737447819&sna … 6/6 reinforce and illuminate? Responding in Writing 6. Write your own letter to any would-be terrorists. Address this audience in a personal voice. Use a variety of appeals to make your case. 7. In an analytical essay, examine the ways in which Nye tries to make her case in “To Any W ould-Be Terrorists.” 8. W rite a letter to Naomi Shihab Nye in which you agree or disagree with the content of her essay . Networking 9. Exchange your paper with another class member and evaluate it for content, grammar and syntax, organization, and tone. Make revisions based on your discussion. 10. Conduct online research on Rumi, and then write a paper explaining why Nye would allude to this figure in an essay on terrorism. Chapter 9: The Age of Terror: What Is the Just Response?: 9-4 Naomi Shihab Nye: T o Any Would-Be T errorists Book Title: The New W orld Reader: Thinking and W riting about the Global Community Printed By: Kalani Norman ([email protected]) © 2017 Cengage Learning, Cengage Learning © 2023 Cengage Learning Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this work may by reproduced or used in any form or by any means – graphic, electronic, or mechanical, or in any other manner – without the written permission of the copyright holder .