The Survival Story of Usman Farman-Truth!
Summary of eRumor:
The survival story of a Pakastani Moslem who was helped at the World Trade Center by a Hasidic Jew.
Mr. Farman’s story has been widely published and he has confirmed with TruthOrFiction.com that it is true.
My name is Usman Farman and I graduated from Bentley with a Finance degree
last May. I am 21 years old, turning 22 in October; I am Pakistani, and I
am Muslim. Until September 10th 2001, I used to work at the World Trade
Center in building #7. I had friends and acquaintances who worked in tower
#1 right across from me. Some made it out, and some are still unaccounted
for. I survived this horrible event.
I’d like to share with you what I went through that awful day, with the
hopes that we can all stay strong together; through this tragedy of yet
untold proportions. As I found out, regardless of who we are, and where we
come from, we only have each other.
I commute into the city every morning on the train from New Jersey. Rather,
I used to. I still can’t believe what is happening. That morning I woke up
and crawled out of bed. I was thinking about flaking out on the train and
catching the late one, I remember telling myself that I just had to get to
work on time. I ended up catching the 7:48 train, which put me in Hoboken
at 8:20 am. When I got there I thought about getting something to eat, I
decided against it and took the PATH train to the World Trade Center. I
arrived at the World Trade at 8:40 in the morning. I walked into the lobby
of building 7 at 8:45, that’s when the first plane hit.
Had I taken the late train, or gotten a bite to eat, I would have been 5
minutes late and walking over the crosswalk. Had that happened, I would
have been caught under a rain of fire and debris, I wouldn’t be here
talking to you. I’d be dead.
I was in the lobby, and I heard the first explosion; it didn’t register.
They were doing construction outside and I thought some scaffolding had
fallen. I took the elevators up to my office on the 27th floor. When I
walked in, the whole place was empty. There were no alarms, no sprinklers,
nothing. Our offices are, or rather, were on the south side of building
seven. We were close enough to the North and South Towers, that I could
literally throw a stone from my window and hit the North tower with it.
My phone rang and I spoke with my mother and told her that I was leaving,
at that moment I saw an explosion rip out of the second building. I called
my friend in Boston, waking her up and told her to tell everyone I’m okay,
and that I was leaving. I looked down one last time and saw the square and
fountain that I eat lunch in, was covered in smoldering debris. Apparently,
I was one of the last to leave my building, when I was on the way up in the
elevators; my co-workers from the office were in the stairwells coming
down. When I evacuated, there was no panic. People were calm and helping
each other; a pregnant woman was being carried down the stairwell.
I’ll spare the more gruesome details of what I saw, those are things that
no one should ever have to see, and beyond human decency to describe. Those
are things which will haunt me for the rest of my life, my heart goes out
to everyone who lost their lives that day, and those who survived with the
painful reminders of what once was. Acquaintances of mine who made it out
of the towers, only got out because 1000 people formed a human chain to
find their way out of the smoke. Everyone was a hero that day.
We were evacuated to the North side of building 7. Still only 1 block from
the towers. The security people told us to go north and not to look back. 5
city blocks later I stopped and turned around to watch. With a thousand
people staring, we saw in shock as the first tower collapsed. No one could
believe it was happening, it is still all too-surreal to imagine. The next
thing I remember is that a dark cloud of glass and debris about 50 stories
high came tumbling towards us. I turned around and ran as fast as possible.
I didn’t realize until yesterday that the reason I’m still feeling so sore
was that I fell down trying to get away. What happened next is why I came
here to give this speech.
I was on my back, facing this massive cloud that was approaching, it must
have been 600 feet off, everything was already dark. I normally wear a
pendant around my neck, inscribed with an Arabic prayer for safety; similar
to the cross. A Hasidic Jewish man came up to me and held the pendant in
his hand, and looked at it. He read the Arabic out loud for a second. What
he said next, I will never forget. With a deep Brooklyn accent he said
“Brother, if you don’t mind, there is a cloud of glass coming at us, grab
my hand, lets get the hell out of here.” He helped me stand up, and we ran
for what seemed like forever without looking back. He was the last person I
would ever have thought, who would help me. If it weren’t for him, I
probably would have been engulfed in shattered glass and debris.
I finally stopped about 20 blocks away, and looked in horror as tower #2
came crashing down. Fear came over me as I realized that some people were
evacuated to the streets below the towers. Like I said before, no one could
have thought those buildings could collapse. We turned around and in shock
and disbelief and began the trek to midtown. It took me 3 hours to get to
my sisters office at 3 avenue and 47th street. Some streets were completely
deserted, completely quiet, no cars, no nothing?ONT face=”Courier New”>_ just the distant wail of
sirens. I managed to call home and say I was okay, and get in touch with
coworkers and friends whom I feared were lost.
We managed to get a ride to New Jersey. Looking back as I crossed the
George Washington Bridge, I could not see the towers. It had really
As the world continues to reel from this tragedy, people in the streets are
lashing out. Not far from my home, a Pakistani woman was run over on
purpose as she was crossing the parking lot to put groceries in her car.
Her only fault? That she had her head covered and was wearing the
traditional clothing of my homeland. I am afraid for my family’s well being
within our community. My older sister is too scared to take the subway into
work now. My 8-year-old sister’s school is under lockdown and armed watch
Violence only begets violence, and by lashing out at each other in fear and
hatred, we will become no better than the faceless cowards who committed
this atrocity. If it weren’t for that man who helped me get up, I would
most likely be in the hospital right now, if not dead. Help came from the
least expected place, and goes only to show, that we are all in this
together ?ONT face=”Courier New”>_ regardless of race, religion, or ethnicity. Those are
principles that this country was founded on.
Please take a moment to look at the people sitting around you. Friends or
strangers, in a time of crisis, you would want the nearest person to help
you if you needed it. My help came from a man who I would never have
thought would normally even speak to me. Ask yourselves now how you can
help those people in New York and Washington. You can donate blood, you can
send clothing, food, and money. Funds have been setup in the New York area
to help the families of fallen firefighters, policemen, and emergency
personnel. The one thing that won’t help, is if we fight amongst ourselves,
because it is then that we are doing exactly what they want us to do, and I
know that nobody here wants to do that.