Thierry Saada

Thierry Saada
World Trade Center

Bellybutton Melodies

When Thierry Saada came to New York in 1999 from Paris, he sublet Delphine Zana's apartment through mutual friends in the Sephardic Jewish community. Both their families were originally from Tunisia, but moved to France after Tunisian independence. Mr. Saada was tall, handsome, and "sportif," she said, and they fell in love.

Last November, they married, and Mrs. Saada became pregnant. Mr. Saada was so excited he played Tunisian music and sacred Sephardic melodies for his unborn child, and he would "talk to my bellybutton," she said. Mrs. Saada was scared about the delivery, but "he said we would be together, that he would push with me."

On Sept. 11, Mr. Saada, 26, a trader at Cantor Fitzgerald, was on the 104th floor of 1 World Trade Center. The baby was due on Sept. 16, but Mrs. Saada did not go into labor. "I was hoping he would come back," she said. In the end, the labor was induced, and on Sept. 27, their son, Lior ‹ "my light" in Hebrew ‹ was born, with Mrs. Saada's mother, Dolly, and sister-in-law, Carole, at her side.

Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on November 18, 2001.

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