Monday, September 11, 2006

2,996 A tribute to Simon Dhanani

                Simon Suleman Ali Kassamali Dhanani
Humble Man of the World


"Simon A. Dhanani, a vice president at Aon Re Inc., was on the 99th floor of Tower 2 when the first airliner struck Tower 1. He directed the evacuation that moved 80 of the firm's employees to safety. But 22 of the company's workers didn't make it out, including Dhanani, said Albano Martell, one of his closest friends in Hartsdale. ""He gave up his life to save others,"" Martell said. ""It's such a great loss. He was a fascinating character who enjoyed the great mosaic that was New York."" Dhanani, a Muslim who attended a mosque in Queens, was born in Kenya, educated in England, and immigrated to the United States about 15 years ago."

"He was a man without frontiers, without borders."

That is how Simon A. Dhanani was described by the man who regarded himself as Mr. Dhanani's best friend. "My wife called us the odd couple," Albano Martell said of his friend. Mr. Martell, 46, was the voluble one of the pair; Mr. Dhanani, 62, the quiet, humble one. They shared a love of poetry, Andalusian music, talk of world religion. They both loved to eat. "It was the perfect marriage," Mr. Martell said.

Mr. Dhanani was a vice president at Aon, on the 99th floor of 2 World Trade Center. He lived alone in Hartsdale, N.Y. But he had a fixed chair at the Martells' dining table.

The weekend before the attack, Mr. Dhanani visited their home in nearby Ardsley. They drank a glass of wine. They listened to a new album of Andalusian music until late into the evening. They made plans to go to a Korean restaurant the following week. "He was a humble, kind, universal man,"Mr. Martell said. "He really enjoyed the mosaic of the world."


From: Dr. Leslie Popoff
Date: 02/12/2005
Message: Dear Mr. Dhanani, I sat next to you at a concert at Lincoln Center in which Yo-Yo Ma performed a piece by Richard Danielpour, and the subject was the silk road to China. You spoke about this magnificent office and view you had in the World Trade Center. you gave me your card and invited me to visit and see for myself. i never did, but i kept your card and thought of you. i just now brought myself to find out what happened to you. What a tragic loss! Forever rest in peace. Leslie Popoff 

Dear Simon, I hope you are at peace. Life will never be the same. We missyou. Keep shining. 
   Michele Orisino (Aon) 

 Dear Simon,

I know that you are at peace and I was blessed to have you known you, even for a short time. You were always kind to me, and for that I am grateful.
Best,
KG 
   Katalin Goencz (New York, NY ) 

 Dear Simon:
I think about you every day,I look around and I look at the palces we once shared.I miss your companioship,the tea time,the conversations about Joseph Campbell,I no longer can't talk about Romy or Gabriel Garcia Marquez, even Cesar Vallejo is missing you.Summer is approaching and the backyard is empty without your presence. We talk about Ahmed Shah Massoud almost a year ago.Still ,I look around and I see your peaceful eyes,your peaceful soul.
No matter how old I will be you will always be alive in my heart,
Your loving brother,
Albano 
   ALBANO MARTELL (ARDSLEY, NY ) 

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   June 3, 2002
 ...I will always remember him as a friend who open my eyes to the world outside. He always told me stories of his many travels and that there is a whole world out there to enjoy and be had. We all miss you dearly. 
   Florence Han (Jersey City, NJ ) 

Simon, I think about you often and I am so sorry that your life ended like this. I know you are in a better place but your friends on earth miss your unique companionship and all the good times we shared. I have so many good memories of you. Love, Gail 
   Gail Martell (Ardsley, NY ) 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   May 11, 2002
 I,m glad I know about you, Simon. I called for a Mercyband and received your name. I take you everywhere! I hope you have met my son, Timmy. He died after open heart surgery at 14 and 1/2. He would be 25 now! God Bless You and your family! 
   Helena Wresch (albertson, NY ) 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   April 4, 2002
 Dear dad,
I am sorry that I did not see you and say goodbye before you left us.I hope wherever you are, you are at peace and remember us.
Love,
your son, Shervin 
   Shervin Dhanani (New London, NH )
 

I never met Simon but I pray for him every day. His name was given to me at our Church as someone to remember. Now that I've read something about him, I know that the world lost someone special. I would like to have met him. Louis 
   Louis Carello (Poughkeepsie, NY ) 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   January 31, 2002
 Simon was always kind to me on my trips to the NY office. He also gave me some good tips on shopping and dining in London. Kindness is never forgotten. May you rest in Peace.

 
   Mary Michl (Chicago, IL ) 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   January 17, 2002
 I hope that you are in a peaceful place. Thank you for believing in me and for being so enocouraging..
You will be missed.

God Bless 
   K. Swain (NY ) 

 God bless you and keep you safe from any harm.
kimberley hess
cambridge
 
   kimberley hess (peoria, IL ) 
We are very sorry for your loss of Simon. May his love for Andalusian music, his life and love live on in those who love him. Our hearts cry with you.
America Cries
We see your sorrow-
and our hearts cry....
We can not erase your pain
but you do not have to face the anguish alone-for we-
-the American people-
are beside you.
We so desperately want to have the touch that brings you comfort,
the strength that gives you courage,
and the words to lighten your spirits.
And when we are left speechless
may the silence of our nation weave love into your hearts
to ease your sorrow.
May you find healing through our nation's strength as we-
-the American people-
face this difficult time together. Our hearts are with you. Teresa Jahn
Dixon, IL 
   Teresa Jahn (Dixon, IL ) 

I know we are supposed to write tributes to the brave people who lost their lives on that fateful day 5 years ago. I think these tributes by the people who knew and loved Simon say it best. It seems he was a wonderful friend to many and still lives on in the hearts of all who knew him.
May you fly with the angels Simon. God bless.

DEAR LORD, BLESS SIMON DHANANI AND MAY HE REST IN PEACE WITH GOD AND HIS ANGELS..GOD BLESS HIS FAMILY AND
HIS GOOD FRIENDS..GOD BLESS AMERICA
AND MAY WE NEVER FORGET 9/11/01.AMEN 
   Anonymous 

Amen...

 

This post will remain here through September 11th. It is part of a project D. Challener Roe began, and includes over 3,000 bloggers paying tribute to those 2,996 men and women who were lost on that horrifically tragic day in 2001. Click 2,996 to read the rest of the tributes.

 

2 comments:

dv4242 September 11, 2006 at 3:22 PM  

A beautiful tribute to an amazing man.  I have posted my tribute honoring Sgt. Michael Curtin, a NYPD officer who willingly walked into the Twin Towers on a rescue mission and was discovered in the rubble of Ground Zero months later.  So many lost lives, so many heroes.

Diane

katbev1010 September 11, 2006 at 6:56 PM  

That was a wonderful tribute, thanks for participating in this amazing project.  Thanks for stopping by my <a href=http://casalinga.blogspot.com>tribute to Marjorie C. Salamone</a>.

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