My father was killed by an Islamic fundamentalist in Cairo, Egypt, when he was just 47 years old. It was October 1993, exactly 8 months following the first World Trade Center bombing. I first heard the news from my uncle; I screamed—a feral howl escaping from deep inside of me—and dropped the phone.
Terrorism was still a new word and a new concept for many Americans, so my father’s death was featured prominently in the national papers and on the evening news. What does one say to a teenager whose father was just shot by a madman screaming “Allahu akbar?” Nobody knew. I didn’t know. The silence was incredibly isolating.
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Hoffman MR. The Sound of Silence—When There Are No Words. JAMA. 2019;322(2):117–118. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.8385
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