By Charles Deemer
Love At Ground Zero is the multicultural love story of Wes and Hayaam, set against the backdrop of 9/11 and its aftermath.
Wes, a graduate student, rescues Hayaam, a Muslim undergraduate, from the south tower at the World Trade Center just before it collapses. When they later run into one another on the NYU campus, they start spending time together. They take long walks in the city. They fall in love. But family and friends oppose the relationship.
Then Hayaam’s father visits from Indonesia—and is arrested at the airport as a suspected terrorist. Although finally released, he feels humiliated. He pulls Hayaam and her brother from school to take them home to Indonesia. Hayaam sneaks away to spend her last night in America with Wes.
Their romantic time together is not consummated but the next day Hayaam’s brother assumes the worst has happened. As punishment for her shame, he cuts off her long hair. Her father plans to arrange a wedding for her as soon as they return home. Hayaam cannot let this happen—and sets up the story’s shocking, disturbing ending.