You've probably heard stories of Arab-Americans being threatened in the wake of the attacks. Some fear for their safety, although they've lived in the U.S. for years. But one KELOLAND man is staying strong.
Qusi Al-Haj is your typical American family man. He's lived in Rapid City for 15 years. He has a nice house, a successful business, a wife and two children. But Qusi wasn't born in America, he spent the first 3 years of his life in Jordan, and another 11 in Saudi Arabia. He came to the states when he was 17.
Qusi is well known in the Rapid City community for his outspokenness. He takes every opportunity to speak publically about not taking our freedom for granted. And in the wake of the attacks he hasn't seen much negativity.
"I've received over 100 phone call and messages and cards from people in the community over here that are so supportive, and know where my heart is and know how hard it is on me unparticular than the average American," he says.
Like many Americans, Qusi says he felt personally violated by the attacks, and now lacks a sense of security.
"Every time I hold my 3 month old daughter, I can almost feel a child that missing one or both of their parents in New York and Washington."
Qusi says he's not ashamed of his roots, he says the reaction from most middle eastern countries has been right on target. But he is afraid that Americans might not make a clear distinction between Muslims, and terrorists who just happen to be Muslims.
"The fact that our government has taken the role to say this is not a war against Muslims, this is not a war against Middle Easterners, this is a war against terrorism, is very very important. We need to drive that message home constantly," he says.
Qusi's also the chairman of the Republican party in Pennington county. He's been a citizen since 1991.