Thursday, September 11, 2008

9-11 Widows Reach Out to Afghan Widows

To watch the FILM TRAILER, click here.

Today, my good friend Toni and I sat down to watch a documentary we had Netflix'd called "BEYOND BELIEF". We found the website for this documentary while we were training a group of 10 women to go to Egypt this past spring and made mental notes to rent it when it came out on DVD. It arrived in my mailbox last week, and we set up a date-day to watch it together. I woke up this morning, turned on the news while I brewed coffee, and realized our date-day was TODAY- the anniversary of 9-11. And the documentary is about two 9-11 widows and what they did in their grief to reach out to the widows of Afghanistan, where our troops were sent in retaliation from the Sept 11th attacks.

The Netflix package reads: "Two strangers, Patti Quigley and Susan Retik, formed a common bond in their grief when both lost their husbands on Sept 11, 2001. This documentary chronicles what they did with that unimaginable loss, traveling to Afghanistan to meet women there also widowed by violence. Director Beth Murphy follows Quigley and Retik as they discover that although they are worlds apart, they share a kinship with the Middle Eastern counterparts."

The two women started a non-profit organization that helps provide grants to organizations that work with widows in Afghanistan. They train them in skills that help them provide for their families, give them micro-loans, and check-in on them after they've completed the programs. These two women started "Beyond the 11th" with one fundraising bike ride from Ground Zero back to Boston where they lived with their families on the anniversary of 9-11 in 2004. It took 3 days, but they made it back and raised $140,000 to give to Afghan widows. Then in 2006, they travelled to Afghanistan to see the faces and hear the stories of the widows they had compassion to help. After meeting these desperate women across the world, they vowed to return home and keep raising money to help provide a means for these ladies to press on despite the challenges and horrific circumstances under which they live.

Rent this film on Netflix... Go to the Beyond the 11th website and read more about their stories... Donate to help provide food, care, education, and aid to the widows of Afghanistan. (the documentary's website) (the non-profit they started to bring relief to Afghan widows).


emily said...

wow. I will definitely rent this. That is so moving.

susan said...


Thank you for posting this. I had no idea there was such an organization. I will hunt down the DVD and rent it.