IMRAAN SIDDIQI, WHO GREW UP IN GEORGIA WITH SOUTHERN MANNERS, IS AN ARIZONA CIVIL-RIGHTS ACTIVIST FIGHTING THE PRESIDENT’S TRAVEL BAN.
Dianna M. Náñez, The Republic | azcentral.com
He should have been in Dallas when it happened, at school, but on a fall day when the air outside felt thick and sticky, he was in Atlanta, the city he grew up in.
It was Sept. 11, 2001. The trip home to Georgia was a chance to visit his parents.
By 9:30 a.m., Imraan Siddiqi was staring at the television screen, watching scenes of airplanes flying into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City.
He felt his stomach lurch.
He still remembers the smoke and the flames and the moments it took to understand it was real.
Imraan thought he was lucky to be home, not separated from his parents by three states. Not cursing a busy signal like so many families frantically checking on their loved ones and finding themselves on the receiving end of a jammed phone network.
At home, Imraan could watch the worry on his dad’s face. He could hold his mom’s hand.
What he could not sense, not then, not amid the chaos, is what this act of terror would mean for his country and for Muslims like him. He could not know that what happened that day would send him down a new path, one far from Atlanta or Dallas, one that would lead him to another day, when he would stand and defy the president of the United States.