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I have had a great life till now and I hope it continues as such. It seems as this was the perfect day and that all the things in the universe were consecutively saying "Ahhhh....." What I didn't know was the trouble that was coming soon. What happened that day changed me forever? These "accidents" happen to me at the same time without any sign of warning. First an earthquake that rated highest in the last fifty decades, second our kidnapping by the al Qaeda and lastly our rescue.
I particularly remember that day like it was yesterday. My whole family which included my dad, my uncle, my grandfather, my grandmother, my sister and I were sitting on the dining table for early morning breakfast. My mom and my aunt were cooking delicious food in the kitchen. The smell from the kitchen was so good that I started salivating like a dog. I was literally able to taste the food before it got to the table. They were making noodles, omelet, boiled eggs and waffles. As soon as the plate with all the food hit the table I started digging in like I was left hungry for days. Every one of my family members was eating, even my mom and my aunt. They were making food and eating at the same time. We were all close to done with our breakfast and out of no where we hear this loud unbearable noise and our whole house starts shaking. My dad picks up my little sister yelling "earthquake, earthquake, lets go, come on out of the house" while my uncle grabs me and runs outside and brings me to safety. Everyone in the neighborhood was outside and wondering what happened. They didn't believe they just experienced an earthquake. Our house was totally destroyed. Luckily no one was injured in my family and my neighborhood. But not everyone was fortunate, that earthquake was a 7.2 on a Richter scale. Many people died that day and were left homeless. Lucky for us our other families that lived in Pakistan invited us by hearing this terrible news. Since we were homeless now we decided to fly there and accept their invitation.
We went to the airport without any bags or any items since everything was destroyed in the earthquake. My dad and uncle went to the ticket booth and got eight business class tickets since we didn't want to spend much after all we just lost all our things and the house. We would have gone in a train but there is no train that crosses the border. It was a small airport and also a Sunday so there was even less security. The year was 1999, about 10 years ago when there was no high quality technology that detected weapons and also when people didn't know much about terrorism. There was a rule that said that there should be a certain amount of bag per person and certain amount of weight of the bag, since we didn't have any bags we didn't worry about it and went directly to the security line. We went through the security line, in which we basically had to walk through this open door that detected all the electronic items. After we were cleared and all ready to go in the plane, we went through this tunnel that was about 7-8 feet wide and about 10 feet tall. Turns out the tunnel was connected to the plane so at the end of the tunnel there were two hostesses that were welcoming us and telling us to enjoy and wishing us a great journey.
It was a huge plane. We looked for our seats for at least about ten minutes, my sister and I were really hoping they were by the window so we can enjoy the outside view. Turns out there were only three of our seats by the window, so my sister and I were the first ones to raise our hands when my dad asked who wants to sit beside the window seat and my aunt got the third window. We were all very happy and sad at the same time. Happy because of the way our relatives cared about us and the way they loved us that they would invite us in this terrible time of ours. We were sad because of the terrible experience and the destruction of our whole property that my grandfather built with his hard work. Then the pilot comes on the intercom and tells us that we will be reaching Pakistan in about five hours and than one of the hostess comes on the intercom and tells us to fasten our seatbelts because we the plate was lifting off. Once at the right altitude the host gives us the general information such as the doors for emergency exit and the air mask. We were all enjoying the flight, having good food and snacks. My sister and I would grab as many candies as we could when they came around. There were small TV's behind all the seats, so my sister and I were watching cartoons on it. After two and half hour or so, few alarms go off at the same time but different places on the plane. It was really weird but no one really paid attention to it and assumed it was a coincident. After just five minutes, a person said on the intercom that the plane has been hijacked and that any kind of smartness from the passenger will be shot and than the people whose alarms went of fifteen minutes ago stood up with huge guns in their hands. We were all scared and could not believe this was really happening to us. All the hostesses were sitting ducks and no one could anything other than pray to god to save our lives.