I was on the boat going from Manhattan to Staten Island when I walked out on the deck in order to get the best view of the Statue of Liberty. It was raining hard so the deck was deserted as every one had found shelter inside the boat. I being such an adventurous person that I am walked out to obtain the best angle and view closest to the symbol of freedom.
As I walked toward the edge of the boat to the rails and as we sailed closer and closer to the green lady I imagined what the immigrants had felt as they sailed toward the symbol of a new life. A new life full of hopes and dreams, a life away from all of the misery, poverty and disgrace in which they had left behind. For hundreds of years this lady holding a torch led the path for millions of lost soles who left their homes, families and past behind for a better future. So many life stories lived where I am now, so many new adventures started right here, so many emotions were felt here, and so many endings and beginnings took place here. I felt closer to the people who had watched this lady decades ago as I watched her now.
Suddenly my utterly poetic and romantic thoughts came to a screeching halt when my attention was caught by a familiar however odd sound. For the first few seconds it did not dawn on me because it was a familiar sound, however on the 4Th second I was taken back. It was the sound of the Islamic prayer, rozeh khooni. Was I imagining things? Was I hearing things that were not there? After I looked around I noticed a young man crouching against the boat rail with a big coat holding a small devise where the sound was coming from (damn, it was not a sign from god). He was dark, had grown a good size beard and his eyes were looking up while his head was bowed down and listening to the prayer. He was standing exactly where I was standing, across from the Statue of Liberty, having the best view of the monument. "I am dead" was my first thought.
"That is it, I am dead. This is how I am going to go, on a boat in New York while getting a glimpse of the Statue of Liberty. A victim of a suicide bomber. I did not even see the sunshine on my last day on this earth". The thoughts ran through my head as I stood there in shock. "Could it be? Is this happening? What if I tell him that I am Muslim too, would he spare me? No, it must have taken a lot for him to get here, he is not going to stop. This is probably ashad that he is listening to, I should probably listen to it as well if I am going to go with him. What dumb luck".
I still took a picture of the Statue of liberty in case if I did not die that day, at least I have my picture. And if I did die, maybe some one would find my camera (I should have bought the waterproof camera). "Man, out of all these ferries I had to get on the one that was going to blow up".
The boat sailed on as we passed the Statue of Liberty. I watched her get smaller in size as we sailed away and she remained in one piece. I thought "Maybe his bomb did not go off, maybe he changed his mind, maybe he chickened out. Maybe this was just a practice run". However, it seemed as though I would not die that day.
Yes, I did not die, the boat did not blow up and we reached Staten Island and walked off the boat alive and in one piece. Now to this day I do not know if that man was a real live suicide bomber or a random person who decided to listen to rozeh khooni on the deck of the boat (while it was pouring rain) which was passing by the Statue of Liberty. Who knows?
Putting aside stereotyping (oh we all know that it is them) and assumptions I just want to thank the universe for keeping me alive as I still have plans for my life (I have tickets to Wicked). All I know is that I could have been a victim of a terrorist attack and az beekheh goosham dar raft. Hal eh loo ya!