Two mothers. Phyllis Rodriguez lost her son, Greg, in the attack on the World Trade Center. Aicha el-Wafi's son, Zacarias Moussaoui, was an al Qaeda terrorist convicted of conspiring to commit the attack. When they met in November of 2002, Phyllis didn't see Aicha as her enemy; she saw a woman experiencing much the same grief as she was. "Our suffering is equal. Yet I'm treated with sympathy; she is treated with hostility," says Phyllis. In their courageous attempts to find peace the two women formed an unlikely friendship that has now become a powerful symbol of healing and reconciliation.


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  • Carrie Brown

    That healing comes with forgiveness and that we cannot hold parents responsible for something that their children did.

  • Mary

    That all things are possible!

  • Nimmoe Gatei

    forgiveness brings healing

  • ganesh tantri

    amazing!the language of the heart.

  • Shoshana

    You can't always blame the parents of what their children choose to do. I, cried when this woman spoke. It is heart breaking to see your child go down such a dark path. God bless her, she is such a bright soul:)

  • Barbara

    Women....they are amazing...women perhaps should rule world affairs their understanding of love and grace is exceptional. Men seem to find ego and power so important, it is all about "self"...yes there are women like that too, but no where near as many as there are men...this story confirms that very fact...women are amazing.

  • zafar

    Could'nt have been more humane. We have never heard of the pilots and passengers-mothers, fathers and lots of children who perished in the air crafts. Some anchor should present those unfortunate survivors too.

  • kunta shah

    Empathy brings forgiveness. If each human being is nurtured with empathy, there would not be any word war, fist war or weapon war. We need to forget the history to live in present. Live in peace. We came to this earth for a short vacation. Enjoy! Leave fragrance of your being, behind

  • Bev

    Simply beautiful...inspiring and healing... The tears flowed... There is hope for humanity xxx

  • Julia Burnett

    If we could just focus on the things in common in life and not the differences how much more tolerant we would be and the world a hugely better place to live in.

  • Dr.Seshadri Harihar

    What inspires me most is that a woman, and a mother at that, after going through the unbelievable pain of losing a young son in such a tragic manner can actually forgive so completely. Its just amazing!

  • Marlene

    Thank you to these brave women who remind us of our humanity and similarities on the anniversary of 9/11. We all hurt the same. For me, this bridges the gap in our differences with the Middle East and reminds me that we are friends and not foes. We must not judge other cultures based on the actions of a few of our citizens. Mrs. el-Wafi needs our love and support.

  • Ramaswamy

    When hearts talk culture is no barrier. Forgiveness is a human trait which overshadows vindictiveness or divine retribution. May be it is a late realisation after the damage is done, but enhances the need for understanding. I do not recollect - author William Hazlit or Robert Lynd - was presenting his thoughts on the possibility of a Federal World State when bigotry, hatred and like qualities vanish from the minds of citizens

  • carol

    In the opening shot, I am sure this was not scripted, but notice both women, from different cultures, different faiths, different lives, are holding their right hands over their hearts..........worth a million words. Very moving.......and beautiful!!!

  • Judith Castañeda

    very inspiring. great woman. this is a great example of justice and reconciliation. thank you.

  • Tracy H

    THIS is what we should be showing the public on 9/11... wish it was on mainstream tv. My favorite... " we have to try to know the "other" people. We ALL have to fight against violence". Yes!

  • Anna

    Such brave and amazing woman, what an example for us all. Thank you!

  • Barb

    Gives me hope for humanity...we can rise so high, with forgiveness and togetherness.

  • Kristin Pedemonti

    Thank you for sharing this, healing comes from seeing the HUMAN BEING and from sharing of the heart. "I saw the mother in her." Exactly. When we SEE each other, we see the common ground. "We must be hand in hand, do something together. We all told our stories, we connected as human beings... Who else can I meet? WE have to try to know the Other. Be Generous in our Hearts. " Thank you! Thank you! This is what I strive to do in my work every day.

  • Sam

    A very touching video, very moving to see their connection that looks so strong despite their hardship. (One thing though, I think that the interpreter made a small mistake, and that Aicha says "it's not against men" ("ce n'est pas contre les hommes) - not "it's not against women").

  • Indraneel Chakrabarty

    A true powerful symbol of healing and reconciliation.

  • Page 1

  • Phyllis and her husband, Orlando, carefully distinguish grief and rage. Read their extraordinary letter to the U.S. government, asking that the acts of violence on 9/11 not be met with violent retaliation.
  • Forgiveness is broadly conceived as virtuous. Retribution is morally complex and problematic in many of its manifestations; but it also has social benefit. Consider the philosophical tension between these attitudes.
  • The next time you are wronged, respond by mustering unconditional forgiveness.  Then, take some time to think about how this sometimes-challenging resolution makes you feel.

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