Title

Personal Reflections of Monis Ahmed Hasan

Presenter / Creator Information

Monis Ahmed Hasan

Document Type

Event

What were you doing on 9/11? (Or, What was your interviewee doing on 9/11?)

I was living in Manhattan on Sept 11, 2001. My apartment building was in Spanish Harlem on Lexington Ave and 101st. I had recently been laid off due to the dot com bubble from my company, SH&E, an International Air Transport Consultancy on Park Avenue that focused on the Airline & Airport sector. I was at home sleeping. My 2 brothers lived with me and a cousin was also visiting for a few days. My eldest brother was at the Gym in the morning at 8am when he called me to turn on the television. My younger brother had not left for college till then. The three of us watched the Twin Towers fall live on CNN and NBC. It was a Nightmare that had just started for everyone. Like a Bruce Willis movie happening in reality. Frantic calls were made to people I know and to me. We didn’t venture out of the house for 2-3 days in fear of the public except to closeby groceries.

How did 9/11 affect you personally and or professionally?

The time that I spent unemployed in New York City before & after 9/11 was a year and a half. I was visited by the FBI & NYPD about 2-3 weeks after that date. They had already visited my office and questioned my colleagues in private about me before coming to my apartment at 7 am. They had a big document with my history and asked me questions about my religious beliefs, and relationships with the local Muslim community. That was a very nerve-wracking time for me & my brothers. But they were satisfied with my answers and left. Although I was on an H1B visa and recently laid off so my immigration status was in limbo. And I, therefore, had to rush to a Lawyer the same day to file paperwork to keep me legal, the cost of which was very painful to me in my unemployment. But I did it to avoid being thrown in jail like many others. During that time I went through extremely low and highs as I tried to find a job and fight off the negative discrimination that resulted against Muslims in all spheres of life. An example of that was when I had three separate job offers or interest revoked because of immigration issues cited by the employer. Employers like Jetblue Airways, CIT Capital Aviation, and Sabre Consulting were employers that backed away. Aviation in America had ended as a potential career for me in those months. But thank god for Dubai where I was from and which allowed me to continue work in that sector at Emirates Airlines. But today I have decided to focus on the Technology & Startup sector in UAE as I see a much greater potential for my economic future in it. Personally, the event did change my life trajectory. I had planned to naturalize as an American citizen, complete a graduate degree, and continue living as an American for the future. But all the signals I got from God and fate was that it was not the right time for me to be there. I love New York City for its energy and did not want to leave. It was one of my most difficult times as a Muslim. But it was also the time when I matured. The months after 9/11 were life-changing for the entire world but especially for the people of New York. The time I had in the aftermath were used to fall in love with the wounded city and with myself. I saw and experienced so many areas, events, and culture of the big apple during that time that I would almost award myself a second bachelor’s degree for that.

On 9/11, what sector were you (OR your interviewee) in?

N/A

Share

Event Location

 
COinS
 

Personal Reflections of Monis Ahmed Hasan

The time that I spent unemployed in New York City before & after 9/11 was a year and a half. I was visited by the FBI & NYPD about 2-3 weeks after that date. They had already visited my office and questioned my colleagues in private about me before coming to my apartment at 7 am. They had a big document with my history and asked me questions about my religious beliefs, and relationships with the local Muslim community. That was a very nerve-wracking time for me & my brothers. But they were satisfied with my answers and left. Although I was on an H1B visa and recently laid off so my immigration status was in limbo. And I, therefore, had to rush to a Lawyer the same day to file paperwork to keep me legal, the cost of which was very painful to me in my unemployment. But I did it to avoid being thrown in jail like many others. During that time I went through extremely low and highs as I tried to find a job and fight off the negative discrimination that resulted against Muslims in all spheres of life. An example of that was when I had three separate job offers or interest revoked because of immigration issues cited by the employer. Employers like Jetblue Airways, CIT Capital Aviation, and Sabre Consulting were employers that backed away. Aviation in America had ended as a potential career for me in those months. But thank god for Dubai where I was from and which allowed me to continue work in that sector at Emirates Airlines. But today I have decided to focus on the Technology & Startup sector in UAE as I see a much greater potential for my economic future in it. Personally, the event did change my life trajectory. I had planned to naturalize as an American citizen, complete a graduate degree, and continue living as an American for the future. But all the signals I got from God and fate was that it was not the right time for me to be there. I love New York City for its energy and did not want to leave. It was one of my most difficult times as a Muslim. But it was also the time when I matured. The months after 9/11 were life-changing for the entire world but especially for the people of New York. The time I had in the aftermath were used to fall in love with the wounded city and with myself. I saw and experienced so many areas, events, and culture of the big apple during that time that I would almost award myself a second bachelor’s degree for that.