HuffPost national reporter Rowaida Abdelaziz was in middle school on Sept. 11, 2001. She remembers in the aftermath of 9/11, hearing words like “Jihad” in media coverage in ways she had not heard before. People would ask her questions about the “war on terror” and to defend Islam. “Muslims were supposed to act as brand ambassadors and for someone that young, it was a heavy emotional and mental toll. I was just trying to figure out how to survive middle school.” She describes that her faith was demonized overnight, but from there, she became curious in order to challenge those conversations and that narrative, which lead to the start of her journalism career. MSNBC anchor Ayman Mohyeldin also spoke about his experiences, saying he went from covering shark attacks as an intern at NBC to covering investigative pieces on 9/11 because he spoke Arabic. From there, he was deployed to cover the invasion of Afghanistan. “When I look back at the last 20 years, my entire career has been defined by that starting point of the September 11 terrorist attacks.” Mohyeldin and Abdelaziz joined PBS NewsHour’s Amna Nawaz on Sept. 8 to discuss the role of Muslim journalists in media coverage in a post-9/11 world.
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