- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 15, 2001

ARUSHA, Tanzania — More than 7,000 miles separate them from the carnage of the World Trade Center, but the tragedy in New York and Washington has deeply unsettled people in this small town at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro.
"I am crying with her," said one damp-eyed woman, watching a woman on television clutching a photograph.
"She is frightened that her husband will not come home," she said in Swahili, the predominant language of this part of Tanzania.
Arusha, best known as the setting-off point for safaris and mountain hikers, is no stranger to terrorism.
It lies roughly midway between Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, the capitals of Kenya and Tanzania, where terrorists allied with Osama bin Laden blew up two U.S. embassies in 1998, killing 224 persons.
Throughout Arusha, television sets continuously replay footage of Tuesday's attacks, rescue efforts and tears of those whose loved ones are missing.
For much of this week, people have crowded into bars and hotels where CNN and BBC are available.
"I cannot watch any longer," said one woman glued to the television in a small bar at the edge of Arusha. "I am so sad for you people. This should not have happened to you."
An older man shook his head slowly in disbelief as anchors updated the havoc caused by the bombings: stores, schools and offices closed; thousands of people evacuated; planes grounded and rerouted; sports and entertainment events canceled.
Thoughts were not far from the nearly 5,000 thought to have perished in the World Trade Center, its missing towers now as familiar to these viewers as any sight in Africa.
The Tanzanian government has been unable to say whether any nationals were killed in the blasts, unnerving the families of those working in the United States.
The U.S. Embassy — rebuilt since the bombing in another location — has not yet begun issuing visas and urged Americans to maintain a low profile.
Arusha has unreliable telephone lines, slow Internet access and few televisions.
But as the seat of the U.N. war-crimes tribunal for Rwanda, and the starting point for legendary safaris, this dusty town has a huge international population.
"Everywhere I go, people have been asking me about my family," said an American who works at the Rwandan tribunal. "The people here are very nice, and they're terribly concerned."
Earlier this week, expatriates surged into Arusha's Internet cafes, with trekkers and youth volunteers desperate for news from home.
Forging a loose if comforting sense of community, Westerners updated each other in elevators and hallways all week.
A great number of Tanzanians said they expected that the United States would conduct massive retaliatory strikes.
"There is an expression," volunteered a young man named Peter, who could barely take his eyes from the image of the collapsing South Tower. "You poke a lion in the [testicles] and you see what happens. Myself, I wouldn't want to be in Afghanistan now. I know what you people can do."

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