September 21st, 2013, I woke up in my bed in New York, to hear the phone ringing insistently. I reached out sleepily to a voice filled with anguish and dread.
“Shaza, Shaza, have you heard from Raheel? He promised to call me six hours ago, and he hasn’t. I am so worried.”
“Slow down, Aliana. What? Who was supposed to call you?” I looked at my bedside clock, saw it was four in the morning, and groaned.
“Raheel. Your brother!”
“Why are you so worried? He may not have got through. He’ll phone you soon.”
“Shaza, there has been a terrorist attack in Nairobi; they have killed so many people. He may have been hurt…”
“What terrorist attack? What are you talking about?” I asked my normally placid sister-in-law.
“When he didn’t phone me, I went online and saw it on the BBC and CNN. There has been an attack in the Westgate Mall in Nairobi. They have taken over the mall, and no one knows what is going on except that shots were fired, and people have been killed.”
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