With all the difficulties going on in the world today, I thought it was time to be a bit nostalgic.
In October 2001, with tensions still high after the attacks in New York and Washington a month earlier, I was riding on Bus 97 towards Bayshore with one of my closest friends. We were both wearing Saudi "thobes" on the bus, and were likely under suspicion already. Regardless, I was in a good mood, and things were soon to become brighter.
While still in downtown, a familiar face walked on to the bus. At first, I didn't recognize him, but then I recalled him as one of my close friends in my CEGEP days; I hadn't seen him in at least two years, and seeing him in Ottawa after knowing him only in Montreal was quite a strange coincidence. His name was Jihad, he was of Lebanese origin. Jihad is a common name meaning "struggle", but is often misinterpreted as an evil word in the traditional Western lexicon.
So when I realized who it was, I burst with enthusiasm, jumped out of my seat, and yelled out on the crowded bus, “JIHAD!!!”
It wasn't until the next day that I realized that I must have freaked out dozens of terrified passengers with an open declaration of holy war.