24 January, 2021

A September Of Sorrows

Even as America mourns the dead of 9/11, Asians become victims of hate crimes

A September Of Sorrows
For weeks after September 11, Salman Hamdani was rumoured to have been a fugitive terrorist, or languishing in federal custody. A local newspaper even linked the 23-year-old Pakistan-born laboratory research assistant to the attacks on the World Trade Center (WTC). A flyer with his picture was circulated among city police, announcing that the Federal Bureau of Investigation-New York Police Department joint terrorist task force wanted to speak to him.

Hamdani's body—along with his medical bag—was subsequently found near where the WTC's north tower once stood. It was later ascertained that on that fateful day, Hamdani had witnessed the attacks on the towers from his subway train. Trained as an emergency medical technician, he immediately rushed to Ground Zero to help.

Once his body was found, Hamdani was given a funeral befitting his gallant deed, his coffin draped in a US flag, and New York City Police commissioner Raymond Kelly told mourners, "We don't know how many people he helped, how many lives he saved. He was indeed a hero."

Faroque Ahmad Khan's voice...


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