Nothing Like It Was - New York Fifteen Years after 9/11 | DocFilm | DW | 05.09.2016
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Nothing Like It Was - New York Fifteen Years after 9/11

9/11 – hardly any other date signifies an event and its global consequences to such an extent. Fifteen years later, Americans are still traumatized by the attacks and society deeply divided.

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Nothing Like It Was - New York Fifteen Years after 9/11

DW Doku Nichts mehr wie es war - New York 15 Jahre nach 9/11 Aber Kavas

24 year old Aber Kavas is a New Yorker who wears a headscarf. She is tired of having to constantly apologize for her Muslim faith.

The US presidential campaign, summer 2016: Donald Trump inveighs against minorities in the United States, especially Muslims, and calls for a total ban on Muslims entering the country. Muslims already living there feel discriminated against and subjects of widespread suspicion. Like 24-year-old Aber Kawas, a New York social worker with Jordanian roots, who says: “I’m so sick of Islamophobia. It’s followed me all my life. I was in the 4th grade when 9/11 happened. It’s now been 15 years – and Muslims are still being attacked and arrested. How long is this supposed to go on?” The division of society: A consequence of 9/11.

DW Doku Nichts mehr wie es war - New York 15 Jahre nach 9/11 David Petraeus

David Petraeus believes that the Islamic state can be defeated militarily, but has serious doubts as to the political future of Iraq.

These Wars will Last for Generations

For Americans, the experience of vulnerability in their own country was a shock. Politicians responded with determination, but the war against Iraq destabilized not only the country itself but also an entire region. With the rise of the so-called Islamic State (IS) as a result of the power vacuum in Iraq and Syria, the threat from Islamist terror has grown worldwide. Former General David Petraeus, who commanded the US forces in Iraq from 2007 - 2008, says: “These are protracted wars. These are conflicts that will last for generations. "

DW Doku - Nichts mehr wie es war - New York 15 Jahre nach 9/11

Denis Frederick suffers from post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD). He has to take 22 pills every day and spends most of his time in his garage with a therapy dog.

The Trauma

More than 2,700 people died in the towers of the World Trade Center and many who escaped from the buildings are still severely traumatized. One of them is retired policeman Denis Frederick. He was inside the burning towers and helped save many lives. Today the 64-year-old cannot bring himself to visit Ground Zero alone. He was unable to work again after 9/11.

DW Doku Nichts mehr wie es war - New York 15 Jahre nach 9/11 MacNaughton

The parents of James McNaughton don’t understand why President Barack Obama withdrew US troops from Iraq. “Now the Iraqis are worse off than before,” says William McNaughton.

Heroes or Senseless Victims?

For the parents of James McNaughton, their son is a hero. He died in 2005 in Iraq, killed by a sniper. Today, a street has been named after him in his hometown, as well as a building in the prison at Guantanamo bay. As much as they still mourn their son, they still have never questioned the United States’ military response to the events of 9/11. As convinced Republicans, Michele and William McNaughton will probably vote for Donald Trump in November, even if they really want to see reconciliation.

DW Doku Nichts mehr wie es war - New York 15 Jahre nach 9/11 David Margules

David Margules is a well-known photographer in New York. He has published an book of his work, which is on sale at the museum at Ground Zero.

One Nation, One Quest for Peace

While the government responded to 9/11 with enhanced security measures and an attempt to monitor everyone, New Yorkers have lived through years of distrust and suspicion. Patriotism and civic freedom, religion and tolerance, education and a sense of justice - the 9/11 attacks seem to have shifted the essential coordinates of American society. And they have left a sense of deep insecurity that hasn’t mellowed even 15 years later. Photographer David Margules, who recorded every step of the rescue work after 9/11 with his camera, says: “We are on the edge of the precipice – a nation and a world on the brink.”

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