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'I Survived My Hate Crime'

Nina Timani, a Muslim Arab American, was the victim of a hurtful hate crime in October 2006. She decided to report it to the FBI. And she’s glad she did.


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On October 2, 2006, I became a victim of a hate crime. I never knew what a hate crime was. If you're not a victim of a hate crime, you tend to distance yourself from it and say, it can never happen to me and, you know, just happens to someone else, not me; and unfortunately for the victim of a hate crime, unless you get shot to death or stabbed, people tend to trivialize your feelings.

On October 2, 2006, one of my employees sent me a very, very hurtful letter at my office where she tended to say that...remember 9-11, you and your kids we'll tie to the fence and you will die. So my first reaction was to call the Police Department of the city which I reside in, and they pretty much told me that if I wasn't shot or dead, there's not much they can do for me.

I had to follow the system, because either I take matters in my own hand and I do my own detective work which ultimately could lead "me" to go to jail, or I reach out to what I then perceived was the enemy, which was the Federal Bureau of Investigation, so I had no choice but to turn to them, and the reason I say that they are the enemy...it's not because they have harmed me or any of my family personally, it's just because there, where I come from, in our ethnic background, we see their equivalent in our countries and where you go in you don't come out; and I said to them please help me, please help me and my kids because we are your citizens too, and I defied my family's morals; and you know, my husband didn't want me to go public for fear of my losing my life, literally, so I defied all that, and I had to do what I had to do for my kids and I went to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and I used the system, and I can hold my head up high to my kids today; and as you can see, I'm not handcuffed.

On October 2, 2006, I was a hate crime victim. I survived my hate crime. The pain will still be with me for a long, long time; but my healing process is that of reaching out to others and letting them know they're not alone.

For more information on getting involved in either bettering your, starting the level of combating hatred on the school level, on the youth level, or getting involved in combating hatred in Community Outreach Programs, please call your local FBI office.