I had my own little boycott of the US. I was, of course, not alone. Not at all.
Time is supposed to heal. In this case, it took a little longer.
A planned visit to my alma mater (Boston University) had to be cancelled. Personal invitations from American friends to attend their weddings or for holidays had to be declined.
Reassurances from the acting US ambassador (can't recall his name -- it was in 2003, I think) that I would not be singled out at random for detailed checks and questioning at American airports could not appeal to my senses.
I refused to visit the US -- neither for work nor for play.
And, boy, was I glad and relieved when my son, Adel decided not to do any US degree programmes, after his SPM.
To cut a long story short -- I am now giving America a chance. (As though I matter at all.)
And I will no longer look at America with contempt and disdain.
There was a time I looked at the US as a reference point for many things. About freedom, mostly.
Post 9/11 changed all that.
Barack Obama as the 44th US President, will still have to prove himself. We know that.
But the fact that Americans want him as President warms my heart.
I can say to an American : "hey, America ain't so bad, after all..."
And maybe, just maybe......
Anyway, I wrote this after reading an AP article "Suddenly, It' Maybe Cool to Be An American Again":
VIENNA, Austria – She was a stranger, and she kissed me. Just for being an American.
It happened on the bus on my way to work Wednesday morning, a few hours after compatriots clamoring for change swept Barack Obama to his historic victory. I was on the phone, and the 20-something Austrian woman seated in front of me overheard me speaking English.
Without a word, she turned, pecked me on the cheek and stepped off at the next stop.