Celebrating Diversity

Today is the 20th anniversary of 9/11 which is usually viewed as America’s darkest hour. Is it a mere coincidence that today, we are also celebrating America’s finest moment–the victory of two teenagers (who are not Americans) at the U.S. Open? Some people might say, well, what is so special about two teenagers winning in a tournament, this kind of generational change has always happened from time to time. That might be true but this is special because these two teenagers represent the first of the post-9/11 generation. They were not yet born when America came under attack, and so they did not experience the pain of that moment first-hand. But now they will straddle the tennis world like a colossus and give hope and inspiration to millions of fans around the world.

Emma, who won the US Open, and Leyla, who is the runner-up, represent not only the new face of women’s tennis, but also hope for women, for open societies, and for diversity. Their victory is a victory for diversity against parochialism, and for women’s rights against a feudalistic mindset, all universal values.

I would say that their victory also represents the victory of hard work over shortcuts that many people are forced to take. While these two lovely and extremely likable girls are not Americans, their victory embodies the American Dream, which lives on in the minds of billions of destitute and powerless people around the world who only dream to be free of poverty and have a better life. It is not only an American Dream, it is a Universal Dream.

It is also not a coincidence that on this very day The Taliban are hoisting their flag over the presidential palace in Kabul. What this signifies is that the forces of evil that bombed America 20 years ago are now in full control of their own people where they can and will try to implement Islamic and Sharia laws, and cause suffering to millions of ordinary people who happened to be born in Muslim families. God didn’t give them a choice to say where and in which country or family they wanted to be born.

Let us all take this moment to appreciate and strengthen diversity and the existence of open societies. Let us also, at the same time, celebrate the universal values of caring and trust, the universal dream to be properly fed and free, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as enshrined in the United Nations and in our own constitutions.

The U.S. Open Winners