Self-transformation through Traumatic Encounter

Pakistani Diaspora Women after 9/11


  • Aamir Shehzad Assistant Professor, Government College of Management Sciences, Mansehra, KP
  • Shaheena Ayub Bhatti Professor & Director, Women Research & Resource Center, FJWU, Rawalpindi


Trauma, Diaspora, Post-9/11 Identity Crisis, Healing, Self-transformation


The events of September 11, 2001 were responsible for physically and psychologically devastating the lives of millions of people directly or indirectly, exhibiting aggression, sorrow and trauma. The aftermath of the incident brought Muslim immigrants to a precarious position where the name became synonymous with terrorism. Muslim immigrants in the US and other countries became vulnerable to the outcome of this tragic experience. Consequent upon this overwhelming life experience, numerous studies including fictional creations have been undertaken to analyze the psychological effects of September 11 and the identity crisis in its aftermath. The present study was conducted to present and illustrate the concept of psychological trauma and self-transformation of female immigrants in the aftermath of the 9/11 tragedy. The analysis is based on Shaila Abdullah’s novel Saffron Dreams (2009) focusing on the complex process of traumatic healing. The study concludes that the novel does not only portray the traumatic encounters of immigrants but also showcases the process of healing and overcoming traumatic distress of those directly involved in the tragedy of 9/11.







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