A Second Life of Freedom
In Russia, Judaism was Inna Basina's nationality. In New York City, it was her religion. "Here it was not a problem," said Inna's husband, Vladimir Basin.
Inna found her second life when her family settled in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, as refugees in 1994. "It was freedom for her, freedom for our son," he said.
Inna took a job as a translator for AT&T. It wasn't an ideal job, but it made ends meet. The couple made it a point never to be on welfare; they were in the United States for the opportunity, not handouts.
She worked nights while studying for a master's degree in accounting at Pace University. She was a sharp student, and a professor found her an accounting position at J. P. Morgan before she graduated. She moved to Cantor Fitzgerald in 1999.
Vladimir Basin would drop her off at the World Trade Center on his way to work. On the morning of Sept. 11, she was eager to buy a present for her son, Boris, whose 12th birthday was three days later. "Our son is the first thing in our lives," Mr. Basin said. "Everything for America was for family and son, not because she liked accounting."
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on November 13, 2001.