May 25, 2011, New York Daly News, Mother of EMT who perished on 9/11 sets up scholarship in honor of son, by Mark Morales,
The mother of a Queens College alumni who perished at the World Trade Center on 9/11 has bestowed a lasting legacy to her son's alma mater.
Talat Hamdani, the mother of Mohammed Salman Hamdani, an aspiring doctor who died at Ground Zero while trying to save lives, has created a scholarship for students of Pakistani heritage heading to medical school.
"He was a very kind and compassionate person. Ten years later, he's an American hero. This is a tribute to him," said Hamdani, who met the scholarship's first winner yesterday.
Salman Hamdani, 23, was on his way to his job as a lab technician at Rockefeller University in Manhattan on 9/11 when he is believed to have headed instead to the burning towers, officials said. His remains were found at Ground Zero months later, along with his EMT bag, officials said.
The award's first recipient, Anam Ahmed, 21, said she felt "very honored" to have been selected for the scholarship, which college officials said would cover Ahmed's tuition. She plans to attend SUNY Downstate College of Medicine in Brooklyn.
"I want to have him as an example and be continuously inspired by him," Ahmed said.
Hamdani's mother met Ahmed for the first time yesterday and tightly gripped her hands as she struggled to speak. "I'm glad that you are the recipient and I'm proud of you," Hamdani told her.
"I just hope that as a doctor and a physician I can live up to his legacy and his name," said Ahmed, who choked back tears.
Queens College Professor William Hersh said he worked closely with Hamdani and still has mementos in the lab where they worked. The former chairman of the chemistry department said he tells Hamdani's story to his students every year on the anniversary or the attacks.
"It's important for them to know that someone sat in their seat and went running into the World Trade Center while the rest of us were running away," he said.
Ahmed's father, Jameel, 57, said he was honored that his daughter would forever be connected with Hamdani.
"It's not easy to get this award. I'm proud of her," he said.
Ahmed said she wants to practice medicine in underserved areas. "I would give them the best care possible," she said.