by Adel A. Mozip
This year closes the two decades since that horrific day, the 11th of September 2001, the day that changed the entire world and certainly changed history. Twenty years later, we remember the innocent lives that were taken on that day, as well as the thousands and perhaps millions of innocents who passed away in other countries as a consequence of the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.
Yemenis were also greatly affected by 9/11, having to deal with the growing number of al-Queda militants in their home country which sparked a war on terror that is continuing until this day.
As we remember the victims of 9/11, we certainly have to remember and commemorate the Yemeni American hero, Abdusalam Almalahi. Malahi, 37, was a Yemeni American who worked as an audio/visual engineer at the Marriott Hotel at the World Trade Center Tower. He happened to be working during that tragic event.
Malahi saved many lives during that day by verbally warning people to leave the building after the intercom system was destroyed. Unfortunately, Malahi was burned and his body was never found. Malahi was born and raised in Yemen and came to the U.S. to work, as so many Yemenis have.
He was known among his colleagues as being incredibly polite, and only opening up with his wife and two sons, whom he was trying to get visas for so that they could join him from Yemen. But his formality also garnered him a great deal of respect, and he was well liked amongst coworkers and friends.
Donn Monroe, one of the 9/11 survivors said about Malahi, “Abdu saved my life. Because we were told not to evacuate the hotel by management via the intercom system (before the intercom system was destroyed by the second plane crash), Abdu took it upon himself to alert the remaining guests that they must leave. I was waiting in my room when I heard him shouting in the hallway. I opened the door, and he told me I must leave immediately. He escorted me to the stairway before continuing on to save other guests. He is constantly in my thoughts. He is my guardian angel. I love this man whom I only met once. It is still hard for me to comprehend his sacrifice for strangers. Abdu was a very special man, indeed.”
When the towers were attacked, Malahi risked his own life to help save the lives of others. On this occasion, we pray to God that he accepts him as a martyr and we wish his family closure and patience.